Utah Architecture: Utah State History & Archives

This guide will direct you to resources about Utah architects and architecture.

What You Will Find at the Research Center

What you will find at the research center:

  • Deeds: Deeds record land ownership and any changes to ownership.
  • Appraisal Cards: Appraisal Cards record assessment of land and structure for tax purposes and include descriptions and drawings of structures and improvements on a property.
  • Building Permits: The archives has Salt Lake City (as well as other cities and counties) building permits from 1889-mid 1950s. The registers record the date the permit was issued, architect and builders on the project, address and descriptions of the project, and estimated costs.
  • City Directories: Use these annual publications to verify when a structure was built, it's purpose, and who or what business occupied it. List of cities and dates available here.
  • Architect's File: A list of architects and builders in Utah, with information on the buildings they designed or built.
  • Building Files: The center has files on hundreds of properties throughout the state of Utah, NOT just those included on national and state historic registers.

Additional important resources are outlined in the following boxes!

What You Will Find Online

Guidance for researching local land and architectural structures is provided by the research guides below (provided by Utah State History and Utah State Archives):

How to Research Your House (for residential structures)

Researching Property History

Historic Preservation Publications Online

National Register of Historic Places

If you are researching a building or site on the National Register of Historic Places, the nomination form and some photographs of the structure will be available through the National Park Service website.

Complete information on individual properties, including architectural studies, slides and photographs, and correspondence with the nominator, are available ONLY at Utah State History Research Center. 

Have questions about the National Register? Utah State History has answered them here!

Need more assistance? Contact Cory Jensen at Utah State History.

Historical Guide to the Streets of Salt Lake City

The Historical Guide to the Streets of Salt Lake City is an incredibly useful resource that is available only at Utah State Archives. The guide provides the original names of Salt Lake City streets (for instance, 1700 South was once 1100 South). If you are researching a structure by street name or number, this guide can assist you by providing the historically accurate title of a street.

Additionally, the guide provides a solid background why Salt Lake City is laid out in the manner it is; how street and house numbers were set up, the width streets were designed to be, how Salt Lake City was divided into ecclesiastical and municipal wards, etc.

Utah State History and Archives at the Rio Grande Depot

all aboard! Rio Grande Train Depot, Salt Lake City, Utah/debaird/Available on flickr

Visit Utah State History and Archives

Utah State History and Utah State Archives are different entities but they share an excellent research center where you can conduct research using both collections. Utah State History primarily collects non-governmental documents related to Utah history, whereas Utah State Archives ONLY collects documents generated by the government. Librarians and historians are on staff to assist with research questions.

Hours: M -F, 9am - 4pm.

Location: 300 South Rio Grande Street (in the Rio Grande Depot).

Contact them.

Need More Help With...?

Building Permit Registers, City Directories, Historical Guide to the Streets of Salt Lake City, Sanborn maps

National Register of Historic Places documentation, Building Files

Research Center and Collections

Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library