Sugar House, Salt Lake City, Utah

Sugar House, Salt Lake City, Utah

:"Sugar house also refers to a small building in which maple syrup is processed. For discussion of this, see Sugar house.

Sugar House (also sometimes seen as Sugarhouse) is one of Salt Lake City, Utah's oldest neighborhoods.


Sugar House is located roughly from about 700 East at its western edge to 2000 East at the east and 1700 South to about 2700 South north to south, and is largely within the boundaries of Salt Lake City. In recent years a number of sources have inexplicably expanded the boundaries of Sugar House to include areas that have never been known as such; the boundaries being listed as far north as 1300 South, as far south as 3300 South., and even listing Sugar House going as far as 200 East. Many local businesses, although not strictly located within the bounds of Sugar House, use the name because of the area's name recognition. For similar reasons others use the designation to describe the location of their own homes, because there was otherwise no neighborhood designation to use. See also: Grid system

About the neighborhood

In the past, the Sugar House community council had mostly shunned big box stores, and a cluster of curbside businesses existed along the intersection of 2100 South and Highland Drive (1100 East), including independent clothing and shoe stores, music shops, artist studios, public art galleries, a coffee shop, and an adult interest store called Blue Boutique. However, in February 2007, the businesses received eviction notices and the buildings were scheduled for demolition. Some, such as the Blue Boutique, relocated; many others closed. The block was demolished and a mixed use development has been planned. Zoning changes have created worry that the new development will not be as friendly to local businesses.] ]

The neighborhood is currently home to a large shopping center that features a ShopKo, a Toys "Я" Us, bookseller Barnes & Noble, clothing retailer Old Navy, several fast food and family restaurants, and a 10-screen dollar theater. A strip mall is also located on the corner of 2100 South and 700 East, and several other businesses line 2100 South. The corner of 2100 South and 1300 East also features three low-rise office buildings. For many years the Snelgrove's Ice Cream store on 2100 south, about 900 East, was a favorite ice cream parlor and iconic location within Sugarhouse.

Between the shopping center and 2100 South is a small park which is practically invisible, aptly named Hidden Hollow. Students from Bryant Middle School have been involved in protecting Hidden Hollow from commercial development. Sugar House Park is a park located between I-80, 2100 South, 1300 East, and 1700 East. Each Independence Day, the park is host to one of Salt Lake City's biggest fireworks shows, as well as a street arts fair.

The neighborhood's name is officially two words ("Sugar House") although it is often written as one ("Sugarhouse"). Sugar House is also the site of Westminster College, Salt Lake City.


Sugar House was officially established in 1853, six years after Brigham Young led the Mormon settlers into the valley.

Despite its name, no commercial sugar production has ever been established in the area. The name came as a suggestion from Margaret McMeans Smoot, the wife of the mayor of Salt Lake City, Abraham O. Smoot, and was inspired by the sugar mill being built in the area at the time. The mill was never finished, due to problems with materials never arriving from Arras, France, and the project was scrapped, leaving the area with its name. The mill did, however, produce unrefined molasses. [ "Sugar House Life: History] .] .

Sugar House Prison, the first Utah state prison, was located in Sugar House during the 19th century and early 20th century. The prison was closed in 1951, all the buildings were torn down, and the land was converted to Sugar House Park and Highland High School. [ "Sugar House Life: History"] .] .

In 1928, at the dedication ceremony of the Sprague library, Mayor John F. Bowman suggested Sugar House from then on be referred to as "South East Salt Lake City." This suggestion was thoroughly rejected.

During the early 20th century the corner of 1100 east and 2100 south was known as "furniture row" because three furniture stores were located there. However, economic reasons and the influx of big box stores and furniture chains has led to the demise of two of them. Only one, Sterling Furniture, remains after Rockwood Furniture closed its doors in 1999 then Granite Furniture in 2004, after more than 80 years of operation. The Southeast Furniture building remains, but has been converted into multi-use office and retail space. The Rockwood Furniture building is now the home of a collection of artist studios, known collectively as Rockwood Studios.

During the 1980s, Sugar House became run down and crime ridden. Sugar House Park was notorious for drugs, crime, and illicit rendezvous. An effort to revitalize the area was undertaken during the latter part of the decade, and today Sugar House is considered by many to be one of Salt Lake's most desirable neighborhoods.


In 1998 "The Commons", an open air mall located just East of the Granite Block, was constructed in response to low patronage and has since been the target of both praise and criticism [ "Salt Lake City Weekly"] .] . Supporters of the project argue that "The Commons" was a boon to the area, citing increased economic growth soon after opening. Detractors argue that the cost of development coupled with competition from major retailers such as Barnes & Noble and Old Navy effectively closed-out many small businesses.

A private effort was started by Doug White to establish a vintage style Rail Trolley to connect the Sugar House Business District to the TRAX station on 2100 South in South Salt Lake. In December 2006 the Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake City, and South Salt Lake have jointly commissioned a Transportation Alternatives Study to examine various transit possibilities on the Sugar House Spur. The options will likely include TRAX, bus rapid transit, and trolley.

In September, 2007, Craig Mecham and Red Mountain Retail Group of Santa Ana, California, owners of Granite Block, revealed their redevelopment plans for the area. Beginning in January, 2008, the buildings on the eastern half of Granite Block were demolished in preparation for construction; Craig Mecham claims that the buildings " [were] not safe" [ "Salt Lake Tribune"] .] due to their age. As replacement, Mecham plans to construct six-story high towers that will serve as office buildings, condos, and retail space. Red Mountain plans to refurbish the current buildings on the western half of the block, maintaining their safety and appeal. Residents and business owners in the area have shown disapproval of the plans and fear that redevelopment will prevent local businesses from thriving and that big business and chain stores will dominate.


External links

* [ Sugar House Community Council] - MediaWiki-driven web site of the Sugar House Community Council.
* [ Sugar House Merchants Association]
* [ Utah Stories] - continuing coverage of the Sugar House redevelopment including plan photos and interview with developer Craig Mecham.

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