Stop 10: The Alta Club

100 East South Temple

This building was constructed in 1897-98. The lower portion was built of rough-hewn Kyune sandstone quarried about 5 miles northeast of Colton in Utah County. This gray sandstone is part of the Eocene-age (55 to 38 million years old) Colton Formation and is composed of sediments deposited in a deltaic river system.

The upper portion was built of grayish-brown Montana limestone. Limestone, which occurs throughout the world in every geologic time period, is composed chiefly of calcium carbonate, usually in the form of the mineral calcite. Most limestone is formed on the ocean floor, but limestone can also be deposited in lakes, streams, and springs.

The Alta Club, founded in 1883, was the first private social club (for men only) in the city and at that time was considered the most prestigious and exclusive organization in the intermountain area. Originally Mormon men were banned from membership, but beginning in the early 1900s they were gradually admitted. It took a bit longer for women, but they were finally admitted as members in 1987.

The Alta Club building was doubled in size in 1910 by the addition of an east wing along South Temple. At that time the main entrance was moved to South Temple and the State Street entry became the women’s only guest entrance with a women’s stairway leading to the main dining room. Today both men and women are welcomed through the main entrance.

PI-60 Building Stones of Downtown Salt Lake City, A Walking Tour