Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City, city (1990 pop. 159,936), alt. c.4,330 ft (1,320 m), state capital and seat of Salt Lake co., N central Utah, on the Jordan River and near the Great Salt Lake, at the foot of the Wasatch Range; inc. 1851. The largest city in the state, it is a great regional center, world headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the processing point for products of an irrigated farm region that is rich in minerals. Major industries include tourism; medical research; food processing; silver, lead, copper, zinc, and iron smelting; the manufacture of computers and electronic equipment; oil refining; and warehousing. The city's outlying suburbs grew rapidly in the 1980s.

Founded in 1847 by Brigham Young as the capital of the Mormon (see Latter-day Saints, Church of Jesus Christ of) community, the city achieved greatness as its economic hub. The prominence of the gigantic Temple (built 1853–93) on Temple Square at the city's heart reflects the Mormon nature of Salt Lake City; nearby are the Salt Lake Tabernacle (opened 1867) and Conference Center (opened 2000). After 1849, Salt Lake City was a supply point for overland travel to California and was connected with the first transcontinental railroad by a line built (1869–70) by Brigham Young to Ogden. It is the seat of the Univ. of Utah, Westminster College, and a campus of Brigham Young Univ. Of interest are the state capitol (1914), Brigham Young's home (the “Beehive House,” 1877), and the Brigham Young Monument (1897). Home to the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association, the city hosted the 2002 Winter Olympic games.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. Political Geography