The Yalecrest Neighborhood
Salt Lake City’s Yalecrest neighborhood has a special place in Niche Homes’ heart. This historic area is located on the East Bench of the valley, just a few miles from downtown and adjacent to the University of Utah. The official boundaries are 800 South on the south side to 1300 South on the north side and the six blocks between 1300 East and 1900 East.
A Walk Down Memory Lane
Prior to becoming the charming neighborhood it is today, the land was used for farming and agriculture. It was owned by LDS Church authorities, and divided into several acre plots that were used for raising crops. Residential homes began to appear as early as the 1870s. One 10-acre plot belonging to Gutliffe Beck was located on Yalecrest between 1700 and 1800 East. His early adobe farmstead was near the intersection of Yalecrest Avenue and 1700 East, and was later used as a dairy farm. Can you picture cows crossing 1700 East?! There were also alfalfa and mulberry orchards.
The population of Salt Lake City increased rapidly at the turn of the century, almost doubling from 1900 to 1910. Air pollution from coal-burning furnaces, as well as early industry in the valley, added to the smoke-filled air of Salt Lake City, particularly in the winter. Property on the east bench began to look very attractive for residential development because it was above the smokey air of the valley, which is something that we continue to grapple with today. Land developers from Utah and out-of-state sensed the economic opportunity and began to purchase the land. Thus, the Yalecrest neighborhood as we know it was born.
The First Home
One of Yalecrest’s first homes was completed in 1912 and was the focus of one of our blog posts a few years back. With the exception of the now-enclosed back porch, the home’s structure has remained nearly the same as when it was built. It’s a perfect example of the quality craftsmanship and timeless style that makes the Yalecrest neighborhood so special.
Since the first home was built, 1,486 more homes, two schools, three parks, and even a few businesses have been established. The neighborhood is one of the most sought after and historically significant neighborhoods in Salt Lake City, having been added to the National Register as a National Historic District in 2007.
The Yalecrest neighborhood has an idyllic and welcoming vibe; enchanting tree lined streets, friendly neighbors you pass while out on a walk, and the way the community comes together for events in parks and block parties. There is a community feel to this area that is extremely special and immediately noticeable.
If you’re a history buff who’s interested in learning more about the efforts to preserve historic homes and buildings, we recommend visiting Preservation Utah and KEEP Yalecrest. These organizations are wonderful resources about the fascinating local history. If you’re interested in learning more about current events and getting involved, find your way to the Yalecrest Community Council.
What To Do in Yalecrest? Spend Your Day Like a Local
We invite you to visit Yalecrest and stay a while to soak up the historic ambiance. The official boundaries of the Yalecrest neighborhood are 800 South to 1300 South and 1300 East to 1900 East, a mostly residential zone. One of the many reasons residents adore Yalecrest is for its central location, situated on the east bench of the Salt Lake Valley, surrounded by other lovely enclaves. The vibrant 9th & 9th district is right down the hill, the University of Utah is adjacent to the north, Foothill Village Shopping Center sits at the southeast corner, and the restaurants and shops at 15th and 15th are within walking distance. You can easily fill a leisurely day without traveling more than a few miles.
RISE AND SHINE!
Miller Bird Park–Tie on your tennis shoes and take a brisk walk through this beautiful sanctuary. While you’re walking, listen for the calming sound of the creek that runs parallel to the trail. Notice beautiful, Depression era masonry and of course, since this is a bird refuge–keep an eye out for the black-chinned hummingbird, or the downy woodpecker as you make your loop.
Tulie Bakery–Grab some coffee, tea, or a slice of their decadent olive oil cake. This delightful bakery is located in the nearby 15th and 15th shopping district. Afterwards, make your way across the street to our next suggested stop.
The King’s English Bookshop–Step inside this local gem and you won’t want to leave! As you wander through each inviting space, your senses will be filled with literary treasures and meaningful gifts for everyone on your list.
LUNCH & DINNER
Nomad East–If you’re in the mood for an authentic, thin, crispy pizza, a fresh delicious salad, or some shared small plates, this is your spot! If weather permits, enjoy your lunch on their outdoor patio.
Jolley’s–Right across the street is Yalecrest’s Neighborhood icon, Jolley’s Gift and Floral. The locals come here for fountain soda, fresh flowers for a loved one or neighbor, and of course, candy from their gorgeous display of glass jars that are reminiscent of small town candy shops. As if that wasn’t enough, Jolley’s also has fabulous seasonal decor and clothing as well as a full pharmacy.
Artist: Holli Yoho
Harmon’s Emigration Market– Located right across the street from Jolley’s on the corner of 1300 South and 1600 East is this Yalecrest staple. Explore this small, neighborhood grocery store and find a full deli, bakery, salad bar, and selection of gourmet cheeses, as well as fresh flowers and beautiful plants. Even the neighborhood kids love Harmons–watch out for that afterschool rush on soda and ice cream!
Emigration Cafe– Just one glance at the seating available outside on their expansive outdoor and gorgeously lit patio will have you deciding that this is your dinner destination. Enjoy their seasonal menu featuring local farms, distilleries, and breweries.
Sweetaly Gelato–Head back down to the 15th and 15th area for this truly authentic Italian treat! Flavors are made fresh daily in small batches with genuine and thoughtfully selected ingredients sourced locally and from Italy.
FOR THE KIDS
Anderson-Foothill Library–The neighborhood gained this 14,900 square foot community treasure in 1985. Locals love this library for everything from its heart warming storytimes for babies and kids, to its generous selection of books, audiobooks, movies, and so much more.
Laird Park–Located at 1800 East Laird Avenue, this park is the quintessential destination for Yalecrest’s kids! A fun combination of playground equipment, a sandbox ready with donated tools and toys, and an expansive lawn ready for a game of soccer or tag make it the most popular park in the neighborhood.
Davis Park–On the corner of 2000 E and 900 S is this delightful park. Much smaller in size and activity than our previously mentioned park, Davis Park has beautiful views, and a serenity that can be exactly what the doctor ordered.