The South Temple Historic District was established as a National Register district in 1982 and was the first to be designated a Local Historic District in Salt Lake City in 1976.
South Temple is significant as the first stately residential boulevard in Utah and remains today, much of it still residential, as a reminder of a lifestyle that is gone. It served as the only primary east-west route in early settlement days between the city and Red Butte Canyon, and Fort Douglas (established in 1862). The buildings which line this street from Third East to Virginia Street are unique reflections of some of the people who have greatly influenced the history and development of the state of Utah.
Included in this group of people are: senators, governors, mayors and other political figures; mining men, who made their fortunes in the small mining towns surrounding the Salt Lake Valley and then used their new wealth to build impressive, ostentatious mansions for their families; and immigrant merchants who became financially successful. Along the street are many fine structures of both architectural and historical significance. The excellence of design and craftsmanship, the landscaping, and the diversity of periods and styles represented, sets the street apart from any other area of Salt Lake City.
South Temple includes some of the best work by Utah’s major architects. Richard Kletting’s all-concrete Classical Revival mansion for Enos Wall is one of the largest of Kletting’s residential designs. Several of Frederick Hale’s finest residences (including the Downey House, the Keith-Brown Mansion and the Markland house) and his Renaissance Revival Alta Club are on South Temple. Henry Ives Cobb, the New York architect who designed the Boston and Newhouse buildings on Exchange Place, did the Terry House, one of the most elaborate and academic Colonial-Georgian Revival houses in Utah. A number of other buildings on South Temple are among the finest examples of their styles built in Utah.