Sunday, November 09, 2008

Historic Photos of Salt Lake

I received another book in the Historic Photos series from Turner Publishing: Historic Photos of Salt Lake City. As a resident of downtown Salt Lake for four years, I felt more familiar with what I was seeing in this book than with either the Detroit book (I’m too new as yet, so I’m still learning about what I’m seeing) or the LA book (I was a child of the suburbs, so that book was more educational than nostalgia producing). With the Salt Lake title, I could place myself in the scenery and imagine how the modern city has grown up around the black and white image in my view. We own Brigham Street, a book of historic photos of homes on South Temple. As with Brigham Street, I found out some of the history of buildings I had frequently seen and admired, and I learned (and relearned) the names of icons of the Salt Lake skyline. I was surprised that the First Security Bank (Ken Garff) building (that gem of the International Style—like it or not, it’s famous) didn’t make the cut, but it was probably just a little too newfangled. Apparently road construction on South Temple is a fact of life in any era, as the paving photos attested. I had to chuckle when I read that the “majestic, cathedral-like” City and County Building essentially was built “to rival the Temple’s magnificence during tensions between Mormon and non-Mormon residents.” Observations and anecdotes like this are scattered throughout the book and add to the interest of the photos. If you have lived in Salt Lake, especially downtown, the book is worth a look.

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