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Salt Lake Terminal Company

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This page was last updated on October 12, 2014.

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Overview

The Salt Lake Terminal Company was a joint company owned by Bamberger Railroad and Salt Lake & Utah Railroad, and served as the two companies terminal in Salt Lake City. There was a joint passenger terminal that stood on the southwest corner of West Temple and South Temple streets in Salt Lake City, where today's Symphony Hall is located.

Timeline

November 29, 1913
Salt Lake Terminal Company organized to build a joint union station in Salt Lake City. Owned jointly by Bamberger Electric Railroad and Salt Lake & Utah Railroad. (Utah PSC corporate index 10380)

1946
With the abandonment of the Salt Lake & Utah Railroad in March 1946, Bamberger Railroad became sole owner of the Salt Lake Terminal Company at auction on July 26, 1946, for the price of $1.00.

April 22, 1947
Julian Bamberger purchased the Salt Lake Rail and Bus Terminal, approved by the federal ICC on April 22, 1947. At the same time, he became sole owner of the Bamberger Railroad. (ICC Financial Docket 15643 and 15644, ICC Finance Reports, Volume 267, p.826)

September 30, 1947
The Salt Lake City commission denied Julian Bamberger's request that the 27-foor wide alley along the south side of the Salt Lake Rail and Bus Terminal be designated as a public alley, and be extended to 1st South, and be designated as a one-way street for public use. The present alley was 330 feet long, extending eastward from West Temple Street to the rear of the interurban and bus terminal. Bamberger owned the terminal at that time, and was negotiating for its sale to Interstate Transit Lines. (Salt Lake Telegram, September 30, 1947; October 2, 1947) (see also: Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, 1950, sheet 077)

In late 1947, Bamberger sold the terminal buildings and yards to Interstate Transit Company, a Union Pacific subsidiary.

(Read more about Interstate Transit Lines -- along with Union Pacific Stages, Inc., and Union Pacific Stage Co.)

The following description in 1949 comes from Ira Swett's book:

Overland Greyhound Lines spent more than $400,000 in remodeling the Terminal. The Terminal encompasses a complete shopping center, a Post House restaurant seating 128, barber shop, tailor shop, drug store and news stand. The Terminal is air-conditioned and the interior has been modernized using a blue-stone composite material. Expensive rest rooms finished in tile and equipped with showers are located in the basement. The remodeled Terminal is able to serve a passenger load of more than a million persons annually, with 16 busses and two electric trains able to load simultaneously. About 200 buses daily moved through the Terminal in 1949.

The new bus concourse occupied the site of the two southernmost tracks and was at a much higher level. Two tracks remained for trains and were in use up until abandonment of rail passenger service. The subsequent sale of Bamberger's bus subsidiary removed the last physical evidence of the two Interurban companies from public view. The northern most track has been kept to deliver coal and freight to the building.

January 15, 1949
Overland Greyhound Lines opened its new terminal on January 15, 1949. The bus company had purchased the old interurban terminal from the Bamberger Railroad and was reported as spending $400,000 to completely remodel the interior and exterior of the building. (Deseret News, January 11, 1949)

January 29, 1968
Greyhound announced that it would move its terminal from its current location at West Temple and South Temple streets, to a new location at South Temple and 200 West, occupying a new terminal building designed for the purpose. The terminal is being moved to make way for the new Salt Lake County Civic Auditorium, also known as the Salt Palace. The site for the new terminal came from Zion Securities. (Deseret News, January 29, 1968)

(Ground was broken for the new Salt Palace in March 1967; the Salt Palace name was selected in a contest in March 1965.)

April 16, 1968
Greyhound held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new terminal at the northeast corner of South Temple and 200 West streets, one block west and across the street from the former site. Architects for the new terminal were Ashton, Brazier, Montmorency and Associates. The projected cost was reported as $500,000. (Deseret News, April 13, 1968; April 16, 1968)

January 7, 1969
Greyhound expected the new terminal to be formally opened on either January 6th or 7th. To serve the traveling public, the facility was to be open as early as December 15, 1968, but formal completion was delayed while subcontractors finished some of the final work. The total cost of buildings and land for the new terminal was reported as $1.55 million. (Deseret News, November 4, 1968; November 14, 1968)

Research has not yet found a newspaper news item about the terminal actually opening.

Demolition of the old terminal likely started in February or March 1969, after Greyhound formally opened the new terminal.

The three-day ceremony for the completion of the first portion of Salt Palace, the new sports arena, started on July 12, 1969. (Deseret News, July 9, 1969) (That same sports arena was demolished beginning in December 1993.)

After being demolished in early 1969, the site of the former Salt Lake Rail and Bus Terminal at the southwest corner of South Temple and West Temple streets became a parking lot for use by Salt Palace visitors.

On March 10, 1977, ground was broken for a new Bicentennial Arts Center, to include a new concert hall and a new gallery for the Salt Lake Arts Center. The new concert hall was named Maurice Abravanel Hall and became the new home of the Utah Symphony.

The Salt Lake Arts Center opened on May 11, 1979, and Abravanel Hall held its opening ceremony on September 14, 1979.

More Information

Salt Lake Terminal Company -- An excerpt from Ira Swett's "Interurbans of Utah".

Salt Lake Terminal Company Corporate information -- Information from the files of the Utah State Public Utilities Commission.

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