This image was taken at 551 South State Street on March 12, 1937. A used car lot, a tire store, a movie billboard, the Utah Packing Company, and the Salt Lake City-County building can all be seen in this single photograph.
State Street is part of Highway 89, a highway that stretches across five states and is sometimes called the National Park Highway.
While U.S. 89 has hardly received the nostalgic attention given fabled thoroughfares like Route 66 or the Lincoln Highway, it is nevertheless central to the identity of the American West. It travels from high mountains to low desert; across five states: Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana; and through or adjacent to seven national parks: Saguaro, Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier. It is no wonder that University of Wisconsin geographer Thomas R. Vale once called U.S. 89 “a cross section of the West.”
This quote comes from an online exhibit dedicated to Highway 89, created through a collaborative effort among archives and libraries in the West. Salt Lake County Archives is a participating member of this project, and you can see many more images from buildings along State Street on http://highway89.org/.
Also check out the images for other sections of Highway 89, contributed by Utah State University, Southern Utah University, Brigham Young University, the Utah State Archives, and other institutions. Additional photographs and records are added to the Highway 89 online exhibit every week.