South Salt Lake, South Salt Lake's history is closely intertwined with that of Salt Lake City's. It began in 1847 when Brigham Young brought settlers through Emigration Canyon into the Salt Lake Valley. Originally, South Salt Lake was made up of three distinct unincorporated areas: Millcreek to the north, Central Park (which was the area between 300 East and State Street and 2700 to 3000 South) and Southgate to the south. In 1936 Central Park incorporated as its own town. In the late 1930s the area was greatly in need of a sanitation system since at the time most of the area was using septic tanks or open cesspools which drained into local creeks. Salt Lake City agreed to annex the area to help with the problem, but gave no specific date to give them a sewer system.
In 1936 several area businessmen formed the South Salt Lake Businessmen's Association to address the problem, deciding to put the issue of incorporation to a vote. Against strong opposition, the vote passed on September 28, 1938. The sewer was built for $462,000 using mostly pick axes and shovels. Sometime during the 1990s, South Salt Lake annexed nearby unincorporated areas and nearly doubled in land area, and, as a result, population. In February 2008, demolition of a run-down area of northern South Salt Lake, just south of 2100 South between State Street and Main Street, will begin in preparation for the $500 million Market Station mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly development that by late 2009 will include a 27-story condominium building and 18 other structures, several of which will be locally-owned businesses.
By 2014 a street-car line down 2100 South to the Sugar House neighborhood of southeastern Salt Lake City, extending from the light rail station nearby will open. In 2012, a Chinatown-like block opened on a run-down lot in the city. It hails as the only Chinatown in the Intermountain West area. One of South Salt Lake's most notable and historic buildings is the Columbus Center.
Originally a school around the turn of the 20th century, it was later used as a daycare center beginning in the 1950s. After being condemned in the late 1980s, it was renovated and expanded to include a branch of the Salt Lake County Library System as well as an auditorium, senior center and several other facilities. South Salt Lake is now undergoing a huge planning process to improve it’s main thoroughfare (State Street) and provide for more walkability/design in the future. For more info: www.southsaltlakecity.com