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10 Most Famous Buildings In Utah

Even though Utah only has a population of just over 3 million inhabitants, it’s the 13th-largest state as it covers an area of 219,887 square kilometers (84,899 square miles).

About two-thirds of the population also lives in the so-called Wasatch Front, a metropolitan area in the north-central region of the state which is also home to its capital city, Sant Lake City.

The most popular landmarks in Utah can be found in this area. The state is also home to some incredibly pristine feats of nature, as well as multiple popular ski resorts.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most famous buildings in Utah, architecture that you simply have to see when you visit the state.

1. Utah State Capitol

The Utah State Capitol is the official seat of the government of the U.S. state of Utah. The Utah Capitol Building is the main structure of the complex of buildings that are located on Capitol Hill which overlooks downtown Salt Lake City.

The amazing Neoclassical building was designed by Richard Karl August Kletting (1858-1943), one of the most influential architects in the history of Utah.

The building was completed between 1912 and 1916 and features the distinctive dome that can be found in most Capitol buildings in the United States, including the famous Capitol Building in Washington D.C.

The dome reaches a height of 87 meters (285 feet) which, in combination with its elevated position, makes it the most prominent landmark in Sant Lake City.

Official website: Utah State Capitol

Famous buildings in Utah State Capitol
Utah State Capitol / Mangoman88 / Wiki Commons

2. Salt Lake City Public Library

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The Salt Lake City Public Library system is a network of public libraries that were originally founded in the year 1898. The main branch building of these libraries is one of the architectural highlights in Utah.

The modern building is located near Washington Square in the northern part of Salt Lake City and planning for the building started in 1998. It was officially opened to the public on February 8, 2003.

The area surrounding this magnificent landmark is called “Library Square” and both features were designed by Moshe Safdie and Associates. The main space inside the building is called the “Urban Room,” a huge foyer that extends to all 5 floors of the building.

Official website: Salt Lake City Library

Salt Lake City Public Library architecture
Salt Lake City Public Library / Ellen Forsyth / Wiki Commons

3. Park City Mountain Resort

One of the most popular ski resorts in Utah is located about 51 kilometers (32 miles) east of Salt Lake City. This iconic skiing and snowboarding paradise is called the Park City Mountain Resort.

Apart from serving as one of the most popular ski resorts in the United States for recreational skiers, it’s also a training ground for the U.S. Ski Team for both slalom and giant slalom runs.

The resort was acquired by Vail Resorts in 2014 along with the nearby Canyons Resort. The company interconnected these two popular ski resorts with gondolas and turned them into the largest lift-served ski resort in the country.

The two main attractions at the resort during the Summer months are an alpine slide and an alpine coaster. These replace the snow-covered slopes which means that the resort is a popular destination around the year.

Official website: Park City Mountain

Park CIty Mountain Resort
Park City Mountain Resort / Michelle Maria / Wiki Commons

4. Salt Lake Temple at Temple Square

Regardless of your religious beliefs, some attractions are worth visiting just for the sale of admiring the architectural features. One of these attractions is Temple Square in the center of Salt Lake City.

The centerpiece of this complex is the so-called “Salt Lake Temple,” a structure that was erected by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the 19th century.

The temple is the largest of its kind in the United States and took 40 years to complete between 1853 and 1893, quite an achievement of the Mormon community.

The entire complex was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1964 and is the most popular tourist attraction in Utah today, welcoming an estimated 3 to 5 million visitors a year.

Official website: Temple Square

Salt Lake Temple at Temple Square
Salt Lake Temple at Temple Square / Manish Prabhune / Wiki Commons

5. Joseph Smith Memorial Building

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is another famous building in Utah that is located in Salt Lake City and was built by the Latter Day Saint movement.

It was built between 1909 and 1911 and was dedicated to Joseph Smith (1805-1844), the founder of the movement. It was originally referred to as the “Hotel Utah” and now serves its purpose as a social center.

The structure is home to 3 restaurants, 13 banquet rooms, and can be used for a wide variety of events.

It features a distinctive Renaissance Revival architectural style and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Official website: Joseph Smith Memorial Building

Joseph Smith Memorial Building Utah architecture
Joseph Smith Memorial Building / Wiki Commons

6. Cove Fort

Cover Fort is the name of both a fort and an unincorporated community in Millard County, Utah. It was founded in the year 1867 by Ira Hinckley, an early leader of the Latter Day Saints movement.

The most distinctive feature of the fort is the volcanic rock that was used to construct the building’s walls. This is remarkable because most forts that were built during this period were made of wood.

Because of this forward-thinking, it’s one of the only forts from this period that have survived until today, making it one of the most remarkable buildings in Utah.

Official website: Cove Fort

Inside Cove Fort
Inside Cove Fort Jllm06 / Wiki Commons

7. Church Office Building

The Church Office Building serves as the administrative headquarters of the Church of Jesus and is the most prominent structure on Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

The building stands 128 meters (420 feet) tall which made it the tallest building in Utah between its completion in 1972 and the completion of the Wells Fargo Center in 1998. This building is only slightly taller with a height of 128.7 meters (422 feet).

It took 10 years to complete the remarkable skyscraper between 1962 and 1972 for $31 million.

Official website: Church Office Building

Church Office Building
Church Office Building / Jordan W / Wiki Commons

8. Salt Lake City Council Hall

Salt Lake City Council Hall is another historic building that is part of the complex of buildings on Capitol Hill in Salt Lake City. The building was completed between 1864 and 1866, a year before Cove Fort was constructed.

It’s one of the most important buildings in Utah as well because it served as the City Hall of Salt Lake City between 1866 and 1894. It’s therefore sometimes referred to as Old Salt Lake City Hall or Old City Hall.

Today, the building is home to the Utah Office of Tourism and the Utah Film Commission.

Official website: Council Hall

Salt Lake City Council Hall
Salt Lake City Council Hall / Eric Pancer / Wiki Commons

9. Salt Lake City and County Building

The Salt Lake City and County Building is an astonishing building in Utah that was completed between 1891 and 1894 in the distinctive Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style.

It was built to replace two buildings that became outdated at the end of the 19th century, the Salt Lake City Council Hall and Salt Lake County Courthouse.

It holds a remarkable spot in Salt Lake City’s architectural history as well because it was constructed to rival the Salt Lake Temple and became a symbol of non_mormon people in the city.

The central clock tower features a statue of Columbia, the female personification of the United States, and reaches a height of 78 meters (256 feet).

Official website: Salt Lake City and County Building

Salt Lake City and County Building
Salt Lake City and County Building / Wiki Commons

10. St. George Utah Temple

The St. George Utah Temple was formerly known as simply St. George Temple and is a temple constructed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the city of St. George in Washington County.

The building was completed in the year 1877 and was the first temple to be built by the church in Utah. Its design resembles the Nauvoo Temple in Ohio, the second temple that the church ever built.

The structure is much larger than it initially appears to be as it features a floor area of over 10,000 square meters (110,000 square feet) and it reaches a height of 53 meters (175 feet).

Official website: St. George Utah Temple

St. George Utah Temple
St. George Utah Temple / Wiki Commons