The history of Salt Lake streets (with pictures!)

Shortly after the Mormon pioneers arrived, Brigham Young directed that the streets in downtown Salt Lake City be wide enough for a wagon team to turn around without "resorting to profanity."

Over the years, those streets have maintained their 132-foot width. But a lot has changed.

Many of the Main Street changes have been documented by Deseret News photographers and illustrators. Photo researcher Ron Fox has found many of these photos in the newspaper's archives, beginning with an illustration from the early 1860s of the single-story Deseret News offices located, as they are now, on 100 South between Main and State streets.

The city's famous grid system actually dates back to Joseph Smith, founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who imagined a template for the "City of Zion" that might be applied to Mormon towns everywhere.

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