Got a couple of hours in Salt Lake City?
Utah’s copper-domed capitol building is among my favorites in the U.S. for style and grace. The high-hillside location gives one a hawk’s eye view of Salt Lake City and especially State Street (which runs, by tradition, south about 400 miles to the Utah-Nevada border). So it’s a good piece of architecture to tour.
Starting March 3, it will also have a display on Utah’s many attempts to become a state. Between 1847 and 1896 when finally admitted to the union, Utah submitted seven different constitutions trying to get approval of Congress. Utah relocated its capital to the center of the state, named the town Fillmore and the county Millard to flatter the sitting president. That didn’t work, either. Later the capital was moved back to Salt Lake City, nearer to where most of the people resided.
To assuage fears that Utah would upset the balance of power in Washington, at one point Latter-day Saint church authorities designated every-other household Democrat or Republican, giving Utah a 50/50 split electorate that survived in that fashion until the 1970s.
It’s all there at the exhibit, in the capitol building.
It took 7 Constitutions and 47 years to get Utah admitted as the Nation’s 45th state. The Utah State Capitol celebrates that effort in a free exhibit opening on March 3,2010. Open March 2010 through Jan. 2011! Free to the Public! Docent guided tours available! For more information visit www.utahstatecapitol.utah.gov Hours: Mon-Fri: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sat & Sun: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. This exhibit is a building-wide exhibit. Main displays are located on the 1st and 4th floors. Ask any Capitol Docent for additional help.