These neighborhoods overlook the city from the foothills north of downtown. Two days after entering the future Salt Lake City, Brigham Young brought his fellow religious leaders to the summit of the most prominent hill here, which he named Ensign Peak, to plan out their new home. New arrivals built sod homes into the hillside of what is now the Avenues. Two-room log cabins and adobe houses dotted the area. Meanwhile, on the western slope of the hill, fruit and nut trees were planted. Some still remain, as does a neighborhood known as Marmalade, with streets named Apricot, Quince, and Almond.
With the coming of the railroad came Victorian homes. The city’s rich and prominent families built mansions along South Temple. As the city has grown over the years, wealthy citizens have continued to live close to the city but farther up the hill where the views of the valley are better. Since the early 1970s the lower Avenues have seen an influx of residents interested in restoring the older homes, making this area a diverse and evolving community.
The state capitol, for which Capitol Hill is named, was completed in 1915. State offices flank the capitol on three sides. City Creek Canyon forms its eastern boundary. The Avenues denotes the larger neighborhood along the foothills, north of South Temple, extending from Capitol Hill east to the University of Utah. Getting around the Avenues is different from following the logic of the grid system of downtown. The Avenues increase in number as you head uphill, 1st Avenue being the beginning. From west to east, the streets are labeled alphabetically.