Named after Utah’s U.S. Senator Thomas Kearns, Kearns is a township on the west side of the Salt Lake Valley. Kearns came into existence 1 May 1942 as a World War II United States Army Air Force training facility originally known as the “Kearns Army Air Base”.
Construction of the base involved building airplane runways and hangars, with several taxiways and a large parking apron and a control tower. Several hundred buildings were also put up and quickly assembled. Most base buildings, not meant for long-term use, were constructed of temporary or semi-permanent materials. The thousands of soldiers and airmen stationed there temporarily made the base one of the largest cities in the state. On 15 August 1946 the Air Force inactivated the base, and turned the facility over to the State of Utah. The presence of roads and other infrastructure made the area attractive to developers and soon houses and businesses sprang up rapidly on what had just a few years earlier been farmland. Today only two buildings remain of the former Air Base. The airfield part of the Kearns Army Air Base today is known as South Valley Regional Airport.
The Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns was the venue for long-track speed skating events in the 2002 Winter Olympics. Because of its altitude, which gives it the thinnest air of any such facility in the world, and its unique architecture, which allows for close control of temperature and ice conditions, the Oval saw numerous records set during the games. It remains arguably the fastest ice surface in the world. The Oval is still in operation, hosting both competitive world rated speed skating events, public skating and amateur hockey.
There are still some old farmsteads in the Kearns area, but they have mostly been gobbled up by new home developers. The older inventory is mostly from the 1960’s through the 1980’s. To have a home builder erect a new home for you, you’ll have to wait between 10-12 months for completion due to the high demand of buyers, construction workers, and limited supplies. This is true for most new construction in Utah Valley, Tooele Valley, Davis and Salt Lake Counties.
Foodies hit Kearns to find family-owned taquerias and Pho houses for late night comfort food and small plates.
Zip code: 84118