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Beyond Temple Square; elsewhere in Salt Lake City there's much going on.

This is the place," pronounced Brigham Young when he and his band of Mormon pioneers reached the site where they built Salt Lake City. But latter-day visitors to the heart of Utah's capital have not felt so compellingly attracted. There was Temple Square, of course-with the multispired, awe-inspiring structure for which it was named, as well as the renowned Tabernacle. And until it closed in 1987, the opulent, church-owned Hotel Utah across the street drew many visitors. Still, the vast 10-acre blocks that formed the basic units of the pioneers' agricultural community made the prospect of downtown promenades somewhat forbidding, as did the 132-foot-wide streets (designed with the wide turning radius of an oxcart in mind). So, for many travelers passing through town on their way to Utah's national parks or ski areas, tours of downtown Salt Lake City began and ended at the square. However, hopes for revival in the downtown area have been kindled by several recent developments: the U.S. Olympic Committee's choice of Salt Lake to represent this country's bid for the 1998 Winter Olympics, ground-breaking for a new sports arena, approval of a master plan to redevelop a central downtown block, and renovation of a number of historic buildings (including the public spaces in the Hotel Utah). On the fringes of the central district, new

attractions that capitalize on the city's fascinating heritage already invite exploration by visitors. Here and on the next three pages, we outline three worthwhile destinations-representing the diverse domains of church, state, and art. All are within walking distance of one another, of Temple Square, and of downtown hotels. Pierpont Avenue: SoHo in Utah? Art and eating in recycled architecture The railroad's arrival in Salt Lake City in 1870 changed the face of the west side of downtown. Warehouses, hotels, and light industry sprang up in a pattern of low density development that contrasts distinctively with the central business district across W. Temple Street. Ethnic workers on the railroads, such as Greeks and Italians, also established neighborhoods here. Eventually, as rail transport was eclipsed by trucks, cars, and airplanes, and as the ethnic communities were assimilated into the larger population, the West Side fell into a decline. But a few years ago, in spite of a climate of gradual neglect, blocks bisected by a small street called Pierpont Avenue began to feel new stirrings. Since then, the area has become Salt Lake's understated answer to San Francisco's South of Market or New York's SoHo district. The catalyst came in the form of a grant awarded in 1983 to local artist Stephen Goldsmith for converting a 1910 produce warehouse into Artspace, a complex of artists' studios and living spaces. Interior designers and antiques dealers have also moved in among the 26 painters, potters, photographers, and sculptors who now live and work in Artspace. During occasional open houses-one is scheduled for September 8 and 9-you can visit artists' studios and the showrooms, as well as a surprisingly lush garden of native plants at the rear of the building. Rejuvenation of the east section of Pierpont Avenue began in 1985, when a building constructed in the late 1890s for the Oregon Shortline Railroad was purchased by Gastronomy, Inc., a local company that had already converted two other historic buildings into popular restaurants. Cafe Pierpont opened in the railroad building in 1986 with a Mexican menu (try the fajitas, with mesquite-grilled steak or chicken wrapped inside freshly made tortillas). Tree-shaded sidewalk tables are enticing in warm weather. Dolores Chase opened Pierpont Avenue's first art gallery, across the street from the restaurant. She recently moved the gallery, which shows contemporary works by Utah artists, around the corner; it now resides on 200 West Street. Painters Bonnie and Denis Phillips also saw potential in the neighborhood and, specifically, in a dilapidated building erected in 1906 for a metallurgist who invented a widely used process for extracting minerals from low-grade ores. Artists, architects, and builders joined in an unusual collaboration to create two art galleries and an architects' office in the old industrial structure. The upper-level Pierpont Gallery displays paintings and sculptures, while the subterranean Courtyard Gallery focuses on photography, fine crafts, and prints. A collaborative effort between artists and artisans was also brought to bear in designing an inviting midblock walkway from 200 South to Pierpont Avenue and also in the part-public, part-private Baci Trattoria. another Gastronomy-owned restaurant in the ornate west wing of the railroad building. Diners partaking of the refined italian cuisine at Baci can feast their eyes on a 60-foot-long Italian-theme mural by local artists. Similar motifs are captured in stained-glass windows that separate the trattoria (the public restaurant) from Club Baci (the private). Yet another new neighborhood eatery, Squatter's Pub Brewery, has opened nearby in a turn-of-the-century boarding house ( 147 W. 300 South). Salt Lake City's first brew pub, it serves sandwiches, sausages, pizzas, and fish and chips, along with several types of ale. On cool days, you can cozy up to a fireplace built with cobblestones uncovered in a nearby street improvement project; when weather's warm, the rear patio is a relaxing place to enjoy a pint and live folk music. Ask your waiter about tours of the brewery. Those interested in the district's history should plan a visit to the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Depot, now home of the Utah State Historical Society. Changing exhibits fill the grand lobby of the 1910 Beaux-Arts building. Other historic buildings worth a look are the 1898 Henderson Block, a surprisingly handsome sandstone-and-brick warehouse, and the 1892 Bertolini Block, adorned with iron columns and Roman-arched windows and considered one of the city's finest examples of small-scale 19th-century commercial architecture. The neighborhood's Greek heritage survives in the dome-topped Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral. September 7, 8, and 9, you can attend the annual Greek Festival, held on the cathedral grounds. Fila pastries and shish kebab are among the dozens of food items for sale; between bites, Greek folk dancers, cathedral tours, and presentations on the city's early Greek community will keep you enjoyably occupied. You can stay overnight in the district at the recently renovated Peery Hotel, the city's oldest hotel still in operation. Built in 1910 to accommodate railroad passengers, the 78-room hostelry had fallen on hard times before being completely restored a few years ago. It's large enough to contain two restaurants, a fitness center, and meeting rooms-but still retains an intimate atmosphere. Rates range from $59 to $109; call (801) 331-0073. Art and statecraft in an impressively restored civic building Salt Lake's newly restored City and County Building rivals the more famous Temple both in sheer architectural grandeur and in its role in the early Mormon saga, The monumental sandstone edifice stands proudly in the center of a park-like block known now as Washington Square but originally called Emigration Square. It was here that the first Mormon pioneers pitched their tents when they arrived in Salt Lake Valley in 1847, and it was here that subsequent waves of Mormon emigrants temporarily camped. Sandstone quarried in central Utah was used to construct the building's massive Romanesque walls in the early 1890s. In subsequent decades, both its interior and exterior were badly damaged. By 1986, pressure was mounting to raze the landmark, considered by many beyond repair. Instead, the city endorsed a 34.5-million bond to restore it and equip it to withstand earthquakes. With restoration completed last spring, the building and grounds now look better than they have at any time in the last century. You're free to enter and explore on your own. But to learn more about the building's history and the restoration-and to gain access to some places that are otherwise off limits you can join one of the free 50-minute tours offered by the Utah Heritage Foundation on the hour from noon to 2 Tuesdays and 10 to noon Saturdays. To arrange a tour at other times, or one that takes you up to the clock tower and out onto the roof, call (801) 533-0858 two weeks in advance; specially arranged tours cost $1 per person. Tours begin outside the west entrance, which is again flanked by twin fountains (new facsimiles of the originals). From here, you can see a statue of Commerce on the west gable and one of Columbia on the center tower (perching 40 feet higher than the Temple's Angel Moroni) both back in place for the first time since a 1934 earthquake. Carved into the sandstone are portraits of early mayors and other personages, as well as creatures mythical and real. Inside, you'll see where the building's original supports were cut away and replaced by the rubber-and-steel isolators that now bear the building's immense weight. You'll observe the elegant council chambers (where the Utah Senate also met before the statehouse was built) and see the mayor's office. Your guide will identify forgotten rooms and galleries uncovered in the restoration. If you've arranged to tour the clock tower-and have the stamina to climb the steps-you'll be rewarded with soaring views and unique perspectives on the roof-line statuary. A Mormon museum-plus an early cabin and a genealogist's paradise The Mormons' first museum, founded in 1869 by Brigham Young's son, was intended to satisfy transcontinental railroad passengers' curiosity about the remote Utah territory; called the Deseret Museum and Menagerie, it included such native fauna as coyotes and jackrabbits. A more recent incarnation, the Museum of Church History and Art presents background on the Mormon people themselves. A new permanent exhibit traces the history of the Mormons from their beginnings in New York to their settlements in Utah and beyond. No dusty hodgepodge of artifacts, this; each turn surprises the visitor with a large-as-life tableau or interactive exhibit that reflects painstaking attention to historical detail. At a scale model of the New York farm where church founder Joseph Smith had his revelations, you can activate appropriate spoken and musical recordings. Nearby is the press used to print the first Book of Mormon in 1830. Other settings evoke the early Mormons' troubled journeys to Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois: a settler's log cabin chinked with Missouri mud and a portion of a temple wall rebuilt with stones from the original temple in Nauvoo, Illinois. The exodus west after Joseph Smith's murder in Nauvoo is brought alive by a full-size replica of a covered wagon that carried pioneers across the Great Plains and over the Rocky Mountains. The gathering to Zion" required a far longer journey for some early converts, as illustrated by an exact-scale model of a ship chartered by the church to bring early emigrants from Europe. A film presentation based on the diary of one English emigrant makes vividly clear the hardships of the way. A lighted map of the West shows the 750 towns founded by Mormons. Behind the re-created facade of an iron-columned storefront, linens and fine cabinetry attest to the skills of the Mormon pioneers. The exhibit closes with renderings of Mormon motifs that believers from around the world have interpreted in their own art. The museum is open, free, from 9 to 9 weekdays, I 0 to 7 weekends and holidays. Plants growing around the plaza outside the museum reflect the vegetation of the Wasatch canyons, which open into Salt Lake City. At the rear is the Osmyn Deuel Log Cabin; built in 1847 and furnished with period artifacts, it's one of the two oldest surviving houses in the city. Across the plaza from the museum, the Family History Library houses the world's largest collection of genealogical records. Mormon interest in genealogy stems from a belief in eternal family relationships, but non-Mormons who are curious about their roots are welcome to use the library's resources, many of which are on compact disks (making computerized searches easier). The library opens at 7:30 each morning; it closes at 6 Pm. Mondays, 10 Pm. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 5 P.m. Saturdays. The church is now renovating a hotel on its property just south of Temple Square. Scheduled to open this month, the Inn at Temple Square will be considerably more elegant than the Temple Square Hotel, the hostelry that used to share the 1930vintage building with a bus station. The former hotel will be remodeled to create 90 large new rooms ($70 to $140) furnished with four-poster beds, armoires, and pedestal sinks salvaged from the Hotel Utah. Call (801) 531-1000. F]
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Date:Sep 1, 1990
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