An artist’s rendering of City Creek CenterPhoto courtesy of City CreekSalt Lake City is the world headquarters for the fastest growing church in America, and the influence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is everywhere. The six gray spires of the Salt Lake Temple rise above the city. A gleaming granite convention center dominates an entire city block across the street. Even in subtle ways — street names, for example — one is reminded of the church’s impact on city planning. Are you driving down 400 South? Then you’re four blocks south of the temple.
But now the Mormons are poised to have an even greater impact on Salt Lake’s urban design — building a new Vatican City, some say. The $2 billion, 20-acre City Creek Center development, scheduled to be complete in 2012, will mix retail outlets and office space with luxury condominiums boasting views of the temple. Those with the means to purchase the condominiums will likely be members of the church, lured back into the heart of downtown and away from suburban sprawl.
Critics have been wary of the church dominating downtown development, but here’s th... Read more