Trolley Square

New Development Underway at Historic Trolley Square
700 East at 500 South, SLC

Historic Site Name: Utah Light & Railway Co. Trolley Barns

Current Name: Trolley Square
Date of Contruction: c. 1900

Trolley SquareOwners of historic Trolley Square have embarked on an ambitious rehabilitation and new construction plan for the first time since the original rehabilitation of the trolley barns in the early 1970s.  Rehabilitation and improvement of the two large existing historic barns has begun and will improve natural daylighting, internal walkways, and retail spaces.

Preservation Issues

The key points of the new development are as follows:

  • The addition of over 100,000 square feet to the site in the construction of new buildings;
  • The addition of several hundred parking spaces;
  • Moving the water tower 20 feet to a terminus point of a walkway and to allow for construction of a new building;
  • Moving the historic Sand House (Wells Fargo Bank) to the west side of the development to allow for construction of a new building;
  • All new construction has been proposed to be in brick.

As part of the redevelopment project, the developer has also agreed to incorporate a historic walking tour around the Trolley Square site using plaques and historic photos to interpret the historic uses of the site and the buildings.

Currently, the west parking structure is under construction. The plan to partially dismantle and partially move the Sand House (former bank) has been interrupted by what was found to a severly deteriorated condition by project engineers.  Several original materials have been salvaged from the building for reconstruction on top of the parking garage in the southwest corner of the site.  For more information on the current plans for the Sand House (former bank), please contact Nick Norris, Sr. Planner at the Salt Lake City Planning Division, at (801) 535-6173 or

View the plans approved by the SLC Historic Landmarks Commission and Planning Commission

View the 1972 brochure, If Trolley Cars Could Talk


Once on the edge of the city, magnate Richard Herriman built these car barns in a mission influenced architectural style complex for his electric trolley system. Housing as many as 144 trolley cars, it served Salt Lake City's large rail street car system for operations and maintenance. However, once the company ceased its operation in the early 1950s, the buildings were turned into bus storage, and then became unused and deteriorated for many years.

In the early 1970's a local family purchased the property and through an extensive and historically sensitive rehabilitation adapted the buildings for retail use. The architect for the project was Wally Wright who is still well-known today for his work on this project. The Trolley Square site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996 as part of the Central City Historic District and is also listed as a Salt Lake City Cultural Register site.

Watch this video, part of a larger film called Working Places and produced in 1975 by the Society for Industrial Archeology (and uploaded with their permission), with Wally Wright explaining his vision for the project.