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History coming to life, new shops, restaurants...mush is going on in Salt Lake City's Westside.

Not far from downtown Salt Lake, the city's Westside was for decades a different world. Downtown was gilded, bustling, and dignified; Westside was down-at-the-heel. Downtown had the tourists, the businessmen, the churchgoers; Westside had the warehouses and the railroads--and, as decades passed, it had fewer and fewer of those.

But change has come to Westside. A $720-million development, the Triad Center, has brought shopping, theater, and recreation to the neglected district. historic buildings have been restored. A visit can leave you fed, clothed, educated in Utah history and architecture, and even, this month, Mikadoed.

Taking the trolley to the Triad

and to a historic house

It's a three-block walk from Temple Square to the Triad Center (albeit three of the ample,660-foot-long blocks that Brigham Young felt were in keeping with the grandeur of his New Jerusalem). You can also drive to the center and park beneath it. Or you can arrive aboard one of the Brigham Street trolleys, motor-driven replicas of turn-of-the-century streetcars. They run at 15-minute intervals from 10 to 10 daily, taking passengers from downtown hotels to the Triad Center and back, then running south to the Salt Palace and Trolley Square. Fare is 35 cents.

The towers you see are the first phase of a project that will eventually encompass three more blocks. The copper-colored glass and burnt red brick facades were chosen to provide a visual link to the venerable Union Pacific terminal next door; isnide are offices, shops (most on the chic, upsclae side), and a half-dozen eateries where you can endanger your newly purchased blouse or sportcoat with anything from tamales to gelato.

Outside, Triad's ice rink should remain in operation into mid-March. When temperatures rise, it becomes an outdoor amphitheater hosting concerts and performances by the semiprofessional troupe Triadtheatre. This month, the latter is still occupying its winter home, a converted warehouse just to the south of the center; Camelot runs through March 1; The Mikado plays March 21 through April 12. For tickets, call (801) 575-5123; for general information on entertainment at Triad, call 575-5111.

Amid all the modernity, one of Triad's chief highlights isn't modern at all. Standing with surprising command among the towers is the Devereaux House, built in 1855 by pioneer horticulturalist William Staines, expanded to second empire form in the 1870s by businessman William Jennings, and restored after years of decay. Presidents Grant and Hayes dined here; you can too, for the home is now a restaurant serving lunch weekdays and dinners Mondays through Saturdays (telephone 575-5200).

Utah Heritage Foundation gives tours of the house from noon to 2 Saturdays, other times by appointment; call 533-0858.

Nearby: two railroad palaces

and Salt Lake City's SoHo

The Triad Center and the Devereaux House don't exhaust the points of interest in this part of the city. Next door, the Union Pacific station is worth a visit. So is Salt Lake's historic warehouse district, which is centered around Third and Fourth West and Second and Third South streets. It looks a bit bombed-out but is dotted with buildings from an era when even a warehouse could sport a classical touch or two.

One of the most interesting restorations is occurring at 325 W. Pierpont Avenue, where a local group, Artspace, has turned a former produce warehouse into Utah's version of Manhattan's SoHo, studios and residences for artists. Studios aren't open on a regular basis, but you can call Artspace at 531-9378 to see if any will be open at the time of your visit.

Around the corner, at Third South and Rio Grande streets, stands the neighborhood's second shrine to the iron horse. Built in 1910, The Denver and Rio Grande Station now provides a home for the Utah Historical Society (though there's talk that Amtrak may reclaim part of the building as a passenger terminal), open 8 to 5 weekdays; admission is free. This month, there are two exhibits, "Black Women: Achievement Against the Odds" and "Getting the Picture: The Growth of T.V. in America."

There's also a good bookstore; one volume, John S. McCormick's The Historic Buildings of Downtown Salt Lake City (Utah State Historical Society, Salt Lake City, 1982; $7.50 paperbound), includes a guide to the warehouse district.

The north wing of the station contains a Mexican restaurant, The Rio Grande Cafe, popular among neighborhood artists. It's open for lunch from 11:30 to 2:30 Mondays through Saturdays, for dinner from 5 to 10 Mondays through Thursdays, 5 to 10:30 Fridays and Saturdays, and 4 to 9 Sundays.
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Article Type:Directory
Date:Mar 1, 1986
Words:755
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