South Temple (Brigham Street)

In seventh grade I wrote a report about Brigham Street, otherwise known as South Temple. It was basically a book that described each of the houses along the street. I wish I had a copy of that book or of my report. It’s funny how many times I’ve thought about it as I drive up and down South Temple. The street has obviously changed a lot in the past 100 years or so. I wanted to document it as it is right now, so I got my friend, Kylie, to go on a little photo excursion with me.

We kind of started in the middle of South Temple on 700 East and headed west. The first building of note is the Masonic Temple. I think it’s absolutely beautiful and loved exploring the symbols. I’d love to learn more about it. They actually offer tours, but unfortunately they are during working hours. After my trip to Europe when I’m not saving up all of my PTO, I might have to take an afternoon off and visit it.

One of the most apparent symbols on the temple is the lotus flower. It’s the bottom of every column and represented on the ironwork around the doors and windows. It represents life, birth, re-creation, light… all such wonderful things.

Here’s a historic house built in the style of an Italian Villa. According to a plaque in the driveway, it’s being renovated. A lengthy process because it’s been happening since 1998.

A little further down is the Governor’s Mansion. It’s also under a little construction, so I avoided the orange cones at the base of the building.

I remember taking a tour of it in high school, maybe as part of my Interior Design class. I’d love to take another tour, but unfortunately, they are almost always during working hours. What’s up with these buildings? Don’t they realize that most people have to work?

Let’s take a break and look at something we can enjoy outside of working hours — sunlight streaming through the trees. It was really the perfect time of night.

There are still some beautiful houses along Brigham Street, but most of them are used for commercial purposes now. And with some of them, it wasn’t always apparent if they are private houses or not. I think this one is for rent for commercial purposes, but isn’t it lovely? I want to live there.

I’m not sure about this building. It had a historic plaque but it didn’t really give any information. There’s a carriage house behind it, though, that I also would love to live in. (I think it’s bigger than most houses!)

I loved the combination of yellow and purple flowers in front of this building.

A few blocks down are some historic businesses. Mrs. Backer’s is still going strong. It’s actually the bakery whereat my sister got her wedding cakes. My mom used to stop there for a little treat back in her single days. They have beautiful cakes, but I also love their sign.

I was saddened to see that the business across the street is gone. I would have shopped there if I had ever had need of a bridal registry or china. I at least hope that whoever leases it leaves the signs. They might be a little dilapidated but I love them.

Kylie said I could always buy it and live there, which would be kind of awesome. I wouldn’t mind living on South Temple. Maybe I could find a place at the Ritz.

I’d be right across the street from the IBM Building.

And next door to the former LDS Business College, which recently moved to some ugly buildings. Wouldn’t it be disappointing to sign up to attend a college that used be housed in a pretty building only to find that it now occupies some floors of an 80s office building?

The First Presbyterian Church was built in 1903 in the Gothic Revival style. It has beautiful stained glass windows and intricate details. I like the swooping gargoyles at the edge of the doors. It also smelled of lavender.

For some reason, the next building has been one of my favorites. I think the scallops look like eyelids or eyebrows. It looks much better when you’re driving past it, though. Looking at it straight on for the photo made me realize how run down it is. It looks like it might be kind of depressing inside, which is too bad because it’s such a unique building. Of course, I could be wrong about that.

The bark of this tree stopped me in my tracks. It looks like a mosaic.

We stopped our little photo excursion at the Cathedral of the Madeleine. It’s such a beautiful building. Not only on the outside, but on the inside as well.

We didn’t stay inside the cathedral for long because they were cleaning up and it was getting late, but I would love to spend some more time there looking at the stained glass and the paintings. We walked back to the car and headed back on First Avenue. You might remember that First Ave leads straight to the front of the temple. We just happened to catch it right as the sun was setting.



  1. Amanda · July 13, 2012

    That was a great tour. I loved seeing all those old buildings and the details. Wish I had some cake from Mrs Backers, I never did get any of that:)

    • meredith · July 16, 2012

      so many amazing buildings. who knew?!? well, you did, obvi. but i LOVE the gov mansion most.

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