Salt Lake City Union Pacific Depot

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Salt Lake City
Former Union Pacific Railroad and Amtrak station
Union Pacific Depot c. 2002
General information
LocationSouth Temple at 400 West
Salt Lake City, Utah
United States
TracksNone remaining
Structure typeAt-grade
Closed1986 (for passenger rail service)
Former services
Preceding station BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak Following station
toward Oakland
California Zephyr Provo
toward Chicago
toward Chicago
Delta Desert Wind Provo
toward Chicago
Milford Ogden
toward Chicago
toward Seattle
Pioneer Provo
toward Chicago
Preceding station Union Pacific Railroad Following station
Sandy Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad Terminus
Salt Lake Union Pacific Railroad Station
Salt Lake City Union Pacific Depot is located in Utah
Salt Lake City Union Pacific Depot
Salt Lake City Union Pacific Depot is located in the United States
Salt Lake City Union Pacific Depot
Coordinates40°46′10″N 111°54′9″W / 40.76944°N 111.90250°W / 40.76944; -111.90250Coordinates: 40°46′10″N 111°54′9″W / 40.76944°N 111.90250°W / 40.76944; -111.90250
Area1 acre (0.40 ha)
ArchitectD. J. Patterson and John Dove Isaacs
Architectural styleLate 19th and 20th Century Revivals, French Renaissance
NRHP reference No.75001818[1]
Added to NRHP9 July 1975

The Salt Lake City Union Pacific Depot is a building on the western edge of downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. Built in 1908–09, it dates back to the more prosperous era in the history of American railroad travel. As Salt Lake Union Pacific Railroad Station, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Railway history[edit]

Originally called the Union Station, it was jointly constructed by the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad and the Oregon Short Line, both later wholly owned by the Union Pacific, at an estimated cost of $450,000 ($14,660,000 in today's dollars[2]). The platforms behind the station ran north-to-south, parallel to the first main line built in the Salt Lake Valley, which predated the station building. South of 1300 South this is the route used by the UTA TRAX Blue Line and Salt Lake City Southern, while north of North Temple (100 North) it is used by the FrontRunner line and Union Pacific. Trains from the west used a line south of 900 South in Glendale to approach the north-to-south platforms. The Salt Lake and Ogden (Bamberger) Interurban line also stopped nearby. When Amtrak was formed in 1971, it took over the remaining passenger services at the station, but after Rio Grande joined Amtrak all trains were moved to its station three blocks south.


From 1977 to 1986 the depot served as Salt Lake City's Amtrak station, but was then replaced by the Denver and Rio Grande Western Depot. It was served by the California Zephyr, Desert Wind, and Pioneer trains, with the latter two having been discontinued in 1997.[3][4] The California Zephyr runs once daily between Chicago, Illinois and Emeryville, California (in the San Francisco Bay Area). The former Desert Wind ran daily from Chicago to Los Angeles) and the former Pioneer ran daily Chicago to Seattle. In 1999 Amtrak moved to the Salt Lake City Intermodal Hub.[5]


According to The Railway Gazette (1907) the structure's plans came from the office of J.H. Wallace, Assistant Chief Engineer of the Southern Pacific, under the direction of D.J. Patterson, Architect for that company. It served the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake and the Oregon Short Line when it was completed in 1909 and became wholly owned by Union Pacific in the 1920s. Initially, both railroads' initials were prominently displayed on the front of the building, but the "Union Pacific" shield or related logo has graced the depot for most of its history.[6]

The Union Pacific Depot in Salt Lake City
Photo taken 3 Feb 2011

The sandstone building is in French Second Empire style, and includes a terazzo floor and stained glass windows. One ceiling mural “Driving The Golden Spike” by San Francisco artist John MacQuarrie in 1909, depicts the driving of the Golden Spike north of Salt Lake City at "Promontory Summit" signifying the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in 1869. Another mural, “Emigrants Entering Salt Lake Valley,” by San Francisco artists John MacQuarrie & August C. Wocker in 1909, shows the 1847 arrival of Mormon pioneers to what is now Salt Lake City.

Several side rooms were originally used for separate male and female waiting areas. The depot once housed an emergency hospital, lunch room, baggage rooms, and offices for both of the original railroads.[6] Most of these features are gone now, but the building was extensively renovated in the 1970s to repair damage. Additionally, the original slate roof was replaced by copper plates due to leaking problems.


The main lobby, no longer used by Amtrak (which has relocated the Salt Lake City Intermodal Hub), serves as an entrance to The Gateway development. Most of the building is not used for its original purpose, but Union Pacific uses some of the space for offices and training areas.

In January 2006, three floors opened as a restaurant and music venue, fittingly called The Depot.[7] The Depot brings a wide variety of musical talent to Salt Lake City.


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  3. ^ "Amtrak National Timetables". Amtrak. 26 Oct 1986. p. 8. Retrieved 9 Jan 2014.
  4. ^ "Amtrak National Timetable: Spring/Summer 1999". Amtrak. 16 May 1999. p. 17. Retrieved 9 Jan 2014.
  5. ^ "Amtrak Timetable: Fall 1999/Winter 2000". Amtrak. 31 Oct 1999. p. 17. Retrieved 9 Jan 2014.
  6. ^ a b Roberts, Allen (1975). "Salt Lake Union Pacific Railroad Depot". National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-05-07.
  7. ^ "The Depot SLC". Retrieved 21 August 2018.

External links[edit]