Looking Back: Utah's Saltair

Occasionally, the internet is good for more than just cat videos and vlogs. Recently, it revealed a curious little artifact I'd never seen in the form of something called Saltair. 

I stumbled across Saltair over at BLDGBLOG. It's an old resort that was built on Utah's Great Salt Lake back in the 1870s. It's gone now, but amazingly it's still visible from space

The mormons built Saltair to be the “Coney Island of the West,” and with roller coasters, a ferris wheel and touring vaudeville acts, that’s sort of exactly what it was, minus the ocean and plus a hint of Kremlin-esk architecture. 

Saltair was built on stilts in the lake and boasted a giant wood dance floor - the biggest in the world? It's hard to imagine a whole lot of real partying and dancing going down there, it being Mormon and all, but who knows? The desert does do weird things to people. 

Like so many old resorts Saltair succumb to fire in 1925, when it burned to the ground. It was rebuilt, but never really regained the popularity it had before the depression. Then, thanks to receding water levels, it was left standing a mile from the water in the 30s.  

After various efforts to resurrect the old beast, a fire destroyed the remaining structure in the 1970s, and it crumbled. There’s now a new Saltair—The Great Saltair—not far from the original. It looks to not have nearly the character as the original, but isn’t that the way it always is?