300 West

This is what you see as you drive on 300 West just past 300 North in Salt Lake City:

300 West

The building that looks like a home is the office of Sunstone Magazine. The brick building to the right (mostly obscured by a tree) is the ACLU of Utah. The next building (note the rainbow flags) is The Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Community Center of Utah.

Is this the result of some bizarre SLC zoning requirement? A de facto liberal ghetto? Or just a coincidence?

60 comments for “300 West

  1. Mark Butler
    July 29, 2006 at 2:52 pm

    I always thought it was birds of a feather flock together.

  2. Ben S
    July 29, 2006 at 3:05 pm

    The antithesis of Temple Square? ;)

    BTW, are you in Utah? If so, you should come to one of our grad lunches…

  3. July 29, 2006 at 3:14 pm

    Note to self: stay away from 3rd and 3rd.

  4. Julie M. Smith
    July 29, 2006 at 3:22 pm

    Ben S:

    We were there for vacation last week; we’re home now.

  5. DHofmann
    July 29, 2006 at 4:13 pm

    It would have been more costly to dig the secret underground tunnels if the three buildings were farther apart.

  6. JKS
    July 29, 2006 at 4:46 pm

    Very interesting “coincidence”, Julie.

  7. Ben H
    July 29, 2006 at 4:57 pm

    Wow, that is hilarious! I would love to know which came first.

  8. July 29, 2006 at 5:01 pm

    Let me guess: cut off to left of the picture is Krakauer’s boyhood home, and across the street is the headquarters of the Utah Democratic Party.

  9. DKL
    July 29, 2006 at 5:41 pm

    30 or 40 years ago, the joke wouldn’t have been that the Utah Democratic Party headquarters were across the street. It would have been that that the Utah Catholic Archdiocese was across the street. (You remember back then, when Nephi used to talk about the Catholic Church as the Church of Satan and everybody knew it was the whore of Babylon.) Well, things change. I wonder what strange geographical accident people will muse (or joke) about decades from now.

  10. Michael McBride
    July 29, 2006 at 6:50 pm

    Ditto #7. Someone’s gotta find out when the different tenants arrived.

  11. MikeInWeHo
    July 29, 2006 at 7:12 pm

    With comments like these, it’s understandable that liberal-types might cluster together there. Must be a little scary to work for the ACLU in SLC. (Eyes rolling here in West Hollywood…..)

  12. DavidH
    July 29, 2006 at 7:53 pm


    you left off the international baccalaureate program a block or so away at west hiigh school. we all know the ib program is also a leftist world peace type plot

  13. lamonte
    July 29, 2006 at 7:53 pm

    MikeInWeHo – Must be (is) scary to work in the Democratic Party in Utah. I shutter to think of working in the others.

  14. Ken
    July 29, 2006 at 8:44 pm

    Lamonte said, to MikeInWeHo – “MikeInWeHo – Must be (is) scary to work in the Democratic Party in Utah. I shutter to think of working in the others.”

    Ken Sez: Well, things could be worse. At least you’re only “shuttering” instead of “shuddering”! ;-D

  15. Burke
    July 29, 2006 at 10:08 pm

    So when did it become mandatory to be a right-winger to be a member of the church? BTW, back when church members were being openly persecuted we would have loved to have the ACLU around.

  16. Mark Butler
    July 29, 2006 at 11:36 pm

    Remember, this is the city that elected Rocky Anderson. Salt Lake City proper is predominantly liberal and Democratic.

  17. rtswen
    July 30, 2006 at 2:05 am

    Do I understand this correctly? On 3rd West we have, right next to each other:

    – an organization seeking “faith through understanding”
    – an organization that works to ensure that the government respects individual rights and liberties
    – and an organization that seeks to be “a catalyst for personal growth, acceptance and equality”

    Wow, whatever is this world coming to?

    Certainly, avoid this area. One wouldn’t want to be affected by these pernicious ideas.

  18. Josh Kim
    July 30, 2006 at 4:29 am

    so…Blacks not being admitted to the Priesthood. Was that liberal and evil, too?

    Just wondering…

  19. Josh Kim
    July 30, 2006 at 4:30 am

    what about the Utah HQ for the NAACP…where is that?

    Oh please Julie, show me where they are so I can avoid them also!

  20. Tatiana
    July 30, 2006 at 10:04 am

    What do you guys think of the American Bar Association’s task force on presidential signing statements and separation of powers recent censure of Bush?


    Maybe we should banish the Utah ABA offices to this street too?

  21. Ivan Wolfe
    July 30, 2006 at 12:05 pm

    What started out as a “gee, isn’t this interesting” thread has turned rather nasty? Where did all the venom come from?

  22. pjj
    July 30, 2006 at 12:37 pm

    I’m curious about when you think it turned nasty, Ivan? Seemed to me that it had gone that way by at least comment 2?

  23. MikeInWeHo
    July 30, 2006 at 12:54 pm

    A little bloggernacle tussle between the liberals and conservatives isn’t automatically “nasty.” I don’t think this thread is (yet!). Nobody has personalized anything. The reality is, there is tremendous venom in our society right now. Come to where I live and proclaim yourself Republican, and see what happens. If anything, it would be much worse than conservative ire toward lefties. (Note to bbell: Testify, brother!)

    From whence cometh all this political venom? Where is it all going to lead? Will angry mobs someday torch these three buildings? Anybody see what happened to the UN building in Beirut today?

  24. pjj
    July 30, 2006 at 1:02 pm

    What seemed nasty to me was the inference that being in a rougher neighborhood seems to equate to being bad, ie ghetto? I do realize that number two has a little smiley after the comment, but still….

    Do we really think that good folks only hang out in clean tidy neighborhoods? Or that not having enough wealth to afford those neighborhoods is bad?

  25. July 30, 2006 at 1:51 pm

    Ivan Wolfe, #21: I was worried about the same thing. I took the original post, as well as comments #1 through at least #14, to be purely tongue-in-cheek.

    pjj, #24: “Do we really think that good folks only hang out in clean tidy neighborhoods? Or that not having enough wealth to afford those neighborhoods is bad?” I really confused by your question. Where did someone refer to the economic status of 3rd and 3rd? Was it the word “ghetto” in the original post? (If so, I would point out that Julie correctly uses a word that does not necessarily have anything to do with wealth.)

  26. Eric Russell
    July 30, 2006 at 1:55 pm


    I think angry mobs will torch three buildings three blocks south and east much sooner than any mobs will torch those buildings.

  27. pjj
    July 30, 2006 at 1:55 pm

    I think that there’s a difference between denotation and connotation of a word, and “ghetto” is one word with connotations that might not seem particularly funny to the folks who live there.

  28. July 30, 2006 at 2:22 pm

    pjj, #27: Thanks. Now I understand what you found offensive. That’s certainly the problem with words–too many meanings make someone look mean.

  29. Ivan Wolfe
    July 30, 2006 at 4:45 pm

    As #25 said – up to around comment 14, the whole thing seemed rather tounge in cheek. After that, it went downhill, but seems to be recovering.

  30. gst
    July 30, 2006 at 4:45 pm

    Mike in WeHo: “Come to where I live and proclaim yourself Republican, and see what happens.”

    Here’s a great article from 2004 about that very thing. Not precisely WeHo, but Venice, Brentwood, and Silverlake. http://www.slate.com/id/2108561/

  31. slm
    July 30, 2006 at 4:51 pm

    So in other words, the anit-liberal comments were purely tongue-in-cheek, absolutely no meanspiritedness intended? But those who responded in kind were spewing venom? Oh, I see. That’s fair.

  32. jjohnsen
    July 30, 2006 at 5:59 pm

    You must have missed the memo sim, Mormon=Conservative Republican who knows gays are going to hell, Evil=Liberal Democrat who supports gay issues. What were you expecting from the Bloggernacle?

  33. Jesse and Carrie
    July 30, 2006 at 6:01 pm

    In response to #17- come on, didn\’t your mamma teach you to stay away from places like that, instead of supporting them? Or did your mom and dad stop talking to you around 15? Oh, touchy subject! A choice is a choice, and we all have to face the consequences of our choices. And if you\’ll please respond with your address I\’ll be sure to steer clear of that one too.

    In my opinion this is no coincidence! The forces of evil are banding together more and more!

    In response to #26- In case anyone doesn\’t know the buildings this person is talking about, it is our beloved Temple Square! And just so you know, Eric, our buildings have already been torched by angry mobs and we prevailed from that persecution and ALWAYS will! And as history has shown, the \”LDS faith has become the WORLD\’S fastest-growing religion!\” \”With a worldwide membership of about 11 MILLION… Mormons already outnumber Presbyterians and Episcopalians combined!\” \”Experts say LDS membership could number 265 MILLION worldwide by 2080!\” (This came from an article out of U.S. News and World Report Nov. 13, 2000.) So I STRONGLY doubt that kind of membership will allow what you say to ever happen! No such luck for your little fantasy world!

    And if I come off too harsh for this site, I will not apologize but rather I will explain: I am sick of hearing the extremely loud-mouthed, obnoxious left. Their POISON has invaded almost every thing I see and hear on the TV, newspapers, and even my childrens schools! We Conservatives still outnumber them! So we need to take a stand and raise our voices too! So take this how you want to!

  34. Mark Butler
    July 30, 2006 at 6:51 pm

    The real contest over the future of downtown Salt Lake City is not over political liberalism at all. The Church, which is a prominent land owner in the downtown area, doesn’t care about the more traditional manifestations of political liberalism, but they care rather a lot about the moral laissez faire atmosphere that Mayor Anderson seems to want to go out of his way to either promote or do defend.

    In short, the Church wants something that approximates a “holy city” and Anderson wants an extended bar scene, suitably upscale without undue discrimination of course. So the Church (mostly the Presiding Bishopric) has been using its temporal leverage to change the atmosphere of downtown, and occasionally its political leverage in promotion of zoning laws that keep strip clubs etc out of the downtown area.

    As far as temporal leverage is concerned, the Church has been doing or sponsoring quite a bit of construction and remodeling in the downtown area over the past few years. The most well known example is the Main Street Plaza – something that was discussed with city leaders since the 1960s, but became quite a controversy, because certain liberal authorities did not agree that the city could sell a right of way to the Church with a restricted right of passage for pedestrians.

    A more recent example is the Church’s purchase of the Triad Center, which is three blocks south of the area discussed in this post, to be the new LDS Business College. The actual change in quarters from a much older location on South Temple and 4th East or so took place just a few days ago.

    The Church also now owns the real estate underlying two malls at the northern end of downtown, and plans to ensure that the new stores in what is now Crossroads close on Sunday. I understand that they impressed Nordstrom’s enough that the latter are willing to stay, after several years of threatening to leave if they were not allowed to move to a newer retail center over by the new LDS Business College.

    Rocky Anderson has publically accused the Church of trying to change downtown Salt Lake City into something resembling Vatican City. The Presiding Bishopric has made comments to the effect that something comparable to that is indeed what they have in mind. They do not want downtown Salt Lake to be just like any other urban area, they would much rather have it be a city on a hill.

    Now of course nothing like the three offices described here would register on the radar of the controversy here, it is just ironic, because typically the ACLU would be representing those people who want to move a strip club within a block of Temple Square, etc. Given much of what the commentary in Sunstone reads like, I find it hard to believe that they, by and large, would disagree.

  35. rtswen
    July 30, 2006 at 9:44 pm

    #33 – Touchy subject? Apparently so. But I want to thank you, Jesse and/or Carrie, you’ve helped make my point more than you will likely ever know.

  36. jjohnsen
    July 30, 2006 at 9:48 pm

    Calling people obnoxious was a brilliant touch of irony Jessie and/or Carrie.

  37. Lamonte
    July 31, 2006 at 7:56 am

    Ken #14 – I forgot to check in this weekend after making my remark on Saturday. Thanks for the correction.

  38. bbell
    July 31, 2006 at 10:29 am

    This is funny. Was up with the venom?

    Mikeweho: Dems rarely if ever put their heads up here in the Dallas Fort Worth Suburbs. Collin County (Plano) voted 75% for Bush… people do in Austin though. One of my business partners voted for Kerry and would not admit it in front of a crowd at a party. He was afraid that he would become “controversial”. I did the same kinds of things while living in Chicago. I never admitted who I had voted for in public cause it would be “controversial”

    That is the way its going and I see no let up in sight.

  39. MikeInWeHo
    July 31, 2006 at 3:17 pm

    Hi bbell. I found my single visit to Dallas almost scary. The contrast between the hard-core Red and Blue areas is jarring. Personally, I think every conservative should be required to spend a summer in a very liberal city, and vice-versa. Would do wonders for our understanding. There’s actually a fantastic series on FX Network called “30 Days” that explores this stuff. I highly recommend checking it out. In the most recent episode he sends a member of a vigilante border patrol group in AZ to live with a family of illegal immigrants in LA for 30 days. Clearly the guy has a liberal bias, but it’s still some of the best TV out there.

  40. bbell
    July 31, 2006 at 3:33 pm

    One of the key differences is that the “blue state” mindset is part of the popular culture (TV, movies, talk shows etc) so most conservatives are pretty familiar with it. The reverse is not as true.

  41. Dan Y.
    July 31, 2006 at 4:22 pm

    bbell (#40) “The reverse is not as true.”

    Unless they are Mormons, that is.

  42. bbell
    July 31, 2006 at 4:38 pm


    Even Mormons in Utah Valley watch TV, the nightly news, go to movies, and see Oprah.

    So they are not unaware of the Blue State mindset. They just reject it as do I.

  43. July 31, 2006 at 5:54 pm

    I am disappointed with the implication of this original post as well as many of the responses. They demonstrate an explicit and embarrassing level of xenophobia and self-righteousness. It’s ok if you don’t see eye-to-eye with the folks from any of these institutions (which are, btw, very different once you look at them through something other than your sweeping prejorative liberal label), but to belittle them or label them the “anti-thesis of Temple Square” is wrong. There is actually much in common with Temple Square.

    Sunstone laid the groundwork for many of the discussions of the bloggernacle decades before its existence, to belittle it is hypocritical and ungrateful. GBLT is only seeking the assimilation of their membership into society. The ACLU is evil…. until they come to the rescue of your rights.

  44. Bill
    July 31, 2006 at 6:04 pm


    It seems like Dan may have been referring to Mormons who have a Blue State mindset, who, because of their acquaintance with some other Mormons, are “not unaware” of the Red State mindset.

    Only people who aren’t really paying any attention to the world would be unaware of either mindset, or of a whole spectrum of mindsets between either extreme.

  45. MikeInWeHo
    July 31, 2006 at 8:31 pm

    bbell: I agree. Blue-staters are remarkably clueless about the other side (which is my pet theory for why the Democrats are imploding). Blue-staters tend to stereotype, condescend, pidgeon-hole, etc. Of course, it’s not as if any of your neighbors there in TX have any stereotypes in their head about people like me! My conservative rural midwest relatives seem to think that my life is identical to Will & Grace. Then they come out here and visit and conclude: boring. ordinary.

    That’s why I enjoyed Big Love on HBO. Finally a glimpse into SLC life ! : )

  46. Dan Y.
    August 1, 2006 at 9:14 am

    Bill (#43),

    I meant precisely what you said.

  47. Mark Butler
    August 1, 2006 at 10:12 am

    It is one thing to be aware of another mindset, and another to believe that it has a modicum of respectability. I think MikeIWH is right here, so far as the contemporary preponderance is concerned.

  48. wilt
    August 2, 2006 at 6:01 pm

    During my 40+ years of self-description as a liberal Democrat and 32 years as a temple recommend holding Mormon, I’ve never had my faith or intellect questioned or demeaned by other liberals. Areas I’ve lived have included such Blue bastions as Oregon, Hawaii, California, Maryland, and Virginia. Some folks haven’t understood why I believe what I believe – but they have been accepting.

    On the “other” hand, I’ve been told by a few Church members I’m a Korihor, I’m not very bright or I’m a useful idiot for the evil one or similar endearing terms and statements… Want to have some fun? Come to Southern Arizona and proclaim yourself as a liberal Democrat.

    I’m sure others have had an opposite experience. I can only share what has been my reality.

    Having said all the above, thanks much for the comments in #17. That one one brought me a smile.

    And I, for one, like the photo and the concept of the ACLU (I’m a card carrying member – and proudly carry it in the same wallet as my recommend) being so close to other groups which seek to ensure we live up to our societal ideals. I’m still working on the “turn the other cheek” concept, but the overall camaraderie here is enjoyable.


  49. Mike
    August 4, 2006 at 3:08 pm

    Lets play fair:

    Where is the Utah Republican headquarters office?

    I don’t know the current official name of the building but it is right there on South Temple in the building we used to call the Eagle Gate Apartments. Drove by it last week while vacationing in Utah. And I think President Hinckley lives (or used to live?) on the top floor of the same building. So the Utah Republicans are headquartered in President Hinckley’s basement. They probably take their marching orders directly from the Prophet, right after office scripture study and prayer, every morning. Leavitt, Huntsman, Hatch; all Hinckley lap dogs. Yeah, right.

    Another ongoing speculative question: Which current and former General Authorities voted Democrat?

    Here is a start: I have a distant relative who is an elected political official in a rural Utah county and she ran as a Republican against one of President Boyd K. Packer’s relatives. She told me the entire Packer clan are card carrying Democrats! They have been since the Republican party put all the church leaders (except the Prophet, they couldn’t catch him) in prison and later embarassed President Joseph F. Smith before the US Congress in the hearings to not seat Reed Smoot (the first apostle not to have plural wives) and otherwise persecuted the church in their campaign to stamp out polygamy. Anyway, her opponent, who is also a sort of friend, told her that (are you ready for this?) “Uncle Boyd held his nose and out of loyality voted for Gore and Kerry too.”

    Anyone remember Congressman Gunn McKay? He was a very good church member and successful Democrat. David O. McKay, his uncle? Republican, most of the time, except he voted for his nephew.

    George Romney, former Michigan governor, had a good shot at the Oval office. (He is current Mass. governor Mitt Romney’s father). He was, at the time, considered to be a “Liberal Republican” if you can imagine such a thing today.

    Need we bring up Ezra Taft Benson’s extreme right-wing political escapades? If I told you some of the stories I heard from my parents and grandparents about him you would think I was making them up. And Hugh B. Brown (First Counselor in the First Presidency in late 1960’s) was basically a Canadian socialist. Apostle Benson called him a “damned commie’ at least once, and my mother over-heard him. Delete. Delete.

    While we are slapping the Sunstoners around, anyone care to give us a list of living and recently deceased apostles who have published articles in Sunstone magazine? Sunstone’s location is within walking distance to the main church office building on 50 North Temple and the Sunstoners frequently have lunch with their old friends and relatives who work for the church, probably at the strip clubs and bars and many other dens of iniquity that Mayor Rocky Anderson has planted near Temple Square. That is how they get access to some of their inside information. That geographic fact is probably more relevant to the contents of Sunstone magazine than the location of either one of the other two organizations described above.

    One more little tidbit; the guy who started Sunstone (Scott Kerney?) served a mission under one of the Apostles, (President Packer if my memory is correct, but I just might have his name stuck in my brain today) and had his BLESSINGS when he started the magazine. President Packer has the reputation of being one of the more conservative of the church leaders. You can only imagine the “liberal tendencies” the rest of them must harbor, if only the truth were known.

    My point is that the church leaders have a wide variety of political opinions. We should not look to them for specific instructions on how to vote. It is a lazy short cut Mormon tendency to let our church leaders do our political thinking in place of really getting to know the issues, the candidates, and making intelligent choices in the ballet box. Our democracy won’t work if we surrender our freedoms to our church leaders, even righteous and well meaning ones. One party political systems inevitably grow corrupt.

  50. Mark Butler
    August 4, 2006 at 3:42 pm

    The Kingdom of heaven is the exception. There is only one party there, only one true Name whereby we must be named, only one true Ensign which overshadows all others. A house divided against itself cannot stand.

    Many of the Church leaders, including President Packer in his younger days, were Democrats with a capital D. President Faust certainly was. Utah also used to be far more evenly divided, even often dominated by the Democrats. So the question is: has Utah left the Democrats or have the Democrats left Utah?

  51. Mike
    August 4, 2006 at 4:28 pm

    #49 (me):”One party political systems inevitably grow corrupt. ”

    #50:”The Kingdom of heaven is the exception.”

    You propose the Kingdom is fundamentally political?

    I always thought there was at least a little inspiration or something else about it. I don’t see the Kingdom as political. Apples and oranges. I contend that to the degree the Kingdom is political, it can become corrupt.

    Three houses on 300 west? Political, not Kingdom.

    Maybe a problem of definitions?

    Personal experience, too long to report here, but I can testify that Mormon church leaders are not above corruption and that it can bite you in the ass.

  52. bbell
    August 4, 2006 at 4:50 pm

    My Utah grandparents and my wife’s grandparents were all Dems to. Very few of their kids and grandkids vote that way.

  53. Mark Butler
    August 4, 2006 at 6:29 pm

    In a very important sense, yes. However, in the modern regime of separation of Church (voluntary action) and State (coercive action), the Kingdom of Heaven is maximal Church and minimal State. Maximal State is Satan’s plan.

    Nonetheless sanctification only comes through voluntary obedience to laws, and the spirit of the law, and not the letter alone. If ye love me, keep my commandments, etc. Ordinances for example are that which God ordains. And without the ordain-ances the power of godliness is not manifest in the flesh. And the ordinances are by and large covenantal in character – bearing a close relationship to voluntary compacts, covenants, and contracts of the sort intended to produce a more perfect union. E pluribus unum. Out of many, One.

  54. Norm
    August 10, 2006 at 6:41 am

    Josh Kim,

    Easy there, fella. I’m very liberal and didn’t feel threatened by the post.


    I have not been alive, let alone liberal for 40 years, nor have I been a card-carrying Mormon for even a decade, but even being quite liberal I am routinely skewered, chided, and abused by my putatively accepting, tolerant, liberal ‘friends’ and associates [not all of them] in New York over my membership and activity in the Church. Many are accepting. More are hostile, preachy, and alienating. I’ve been shocked. Perhaps it’s a Northeast thing. Or maybe, liberals, just like conservatices, Mormons, Protestants, etc, when they are a super-majority tend to alienate and abuse non-conformists. I did not have that experience living in SF (a strike against the last sentence) or LA. Just thought I’d provide some balance.

  55. Judy Brooks
    August 10, 2006 at 1:41 pm

    Just wondering?
    Is there something wrong with the ACLU?
    Or a Gay and Lesbian support center?
    Or Sunstone?

    What’s the problem?

  56. Judy Brooks
    August 10, 2006 at 1:50 pm

    Jessie and Carrie aren’t real.

  57. Samuel
    August 12, 2006 at 1:51 am

    I see nothing wrong with this collection of institutions.

  58. Mark Butler
    August 12, 2006 at 10:56 am

    The association, not the nature of the institutions is the novelty here.

  59. Samuel
    August 12, 2006 at 11:23 am

    Oh. Well, in any case, if we could get all the blacks to live on this one block, too, that’d be better. Keep em all in one place, you know.

  60. Julie M. Smith
    August 12, 2006 at 12:02 pm

    Oh, good grief. I don’t think I’ve ever been so irritated with comments as I have with this thread.

    I thought it was mildly amusing that what are probably the three most liberal institutions in Salt Lake just so happen to be physically adjacent. This wasn’t a call to arms to firebomb the block–just a little throwaway post. Y’all are taking this way too seriously.

    End of discussion.

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