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What Salt Lake City looked like in the 1990s Through Fabulous Photos

As the capital of Utah and a major cultural and economic center in the United States, Salt Lake City has long been a dynamic, evolving metropolis. The 1990s, in particular, represented a significant period of growth, development, and change for the city.

The 1990s saw a significant population boom in Salt Lake City, with the city’s population increasing by nearly 20% from the beginning to the end of the decade. This growth was driven largely by a thriving economy, as Utah’s key industries – including technology, mining, and tourism – flourished during this time. In response to the population surge, Salt Lake City underwent a major expansion, with new residential and commercial developments springing up throughout the city.

Infrastructure Improvements

As the city grew, so too did its infrastructure. Major roadways, such as I-15 and I-80, were widened and improved to accommodate increased traffic. The city also invested in public transportation, with the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) launching the TRAX light rail system in 1999. This new transit option connected downtown Salt Lake City with the southern suburbs, making it easier for residents to commute to work and access the city’s attractions.

Cultural Revitalization

The 1990s also saw a cultural renaissance in Salt Lake City, with the construction of new performance venues and the emergence of a vibrant arts scene. The city invested in the creation of the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center and the Capitol Theatre, which hosted concerts, ballets, and theater productions. Local artists and musicians found a platform for their work in the city’s growing number of galleries and performance spaces.

Here are some fabulous photos that will take you back to the 1990s in Salt Lake City.

#2 ZCMI Department Store, Main Street, Salt Lake City, 1990s

#3 ZCMI along Main Street, Downtown Salt Lake City, 1990s

#5 Vacant Storefronts, Main Street, Salt Lake City, 1990s

#8 Utah Capitol from Temple Square, Salt Lake City, 1990s

#9 Looking east along 100 S from Convention Center, Salt Lake City, 1990s

#10 ZCMI Department Store, Main Street, Salt Lake City, 1990s

#11 Snappy Service Lunch, downtown Salt Lake City, 1990s

#18 First Security Bank (originally Deseret Building), 79 S Main Street, Salt Lake City, 1990s

#20 Display on Forthcoming Light Rail Transit System for Salt Lake City, 1990s

#21 Empty Storefronts along Main Street, downtown Salt Lake City, 1990s

#24 Boston & Newhouse Buildings, 9 & 10 Exchange Place, Salt Lake City, 1990s

#25 Salt Lake City Buildings from University Blvd, 1990s

#27 Looking west along 300 S Broadway to Rio Grande Depot, Salt Lake City, 1990s

#32 Looking across S Temple from Temple Square, 1990s

#46 Homes in The Avenues District, Salt Lake City, 1990s

#47 Pocket Park in The Avenues, Salt Lake City, 1990s

#52 Courtyard for Rowhomes, near Trolley Square, Salt Lake City, 1990s

#57 Main Street, looking south, Salt Lake City, 1990s

Main Street, looking south, Salt Lake City, 1990s

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#59 Boston & Newhouse Buildings, 9 & 10 Exchange Place, Salt Lake City, 1990s

Boston & Newhouse Buildings, 9 & 10 Exchange Place, Salt Lake City, 1990s

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#62 Salt Lake City Buildings from University Blvd, 1990s

Salt Lake City Buildings from University Blvd, 1990s

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#65 Deseret News, downtown Salt Lake City — October 1999

Deseret News, downtown Salt Lake City -- October 1999

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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