Back to All Events

Taking the Waters: Baptism, Business and Beck Street’s Vanishing History

  • Warm Springs Park 840 300 North Panther Way Salt Lake City, UT, 84103 United States (map)

The Beck Street area of Salt Lake City has been largely neglected in the cultural imagination of Utahns since the construction of I-15, which simultaneously made Beck, part of the old Highway 89, obsolete and improved distribution capacity for the industries encroaching on the area. Thousands pass Beck on the interstate every day, largely unaware of the crucial role the area played, and continues to play, in the religious, recreational, industrial, and environmental history of the city. This was not always the case. An enormous hot springs complex once attracted visitors from all over the state and the nation, and a warm water lake once boasted sprawling resorts, yachting and year-round recreation where refineries and freeway now lie. During the heyday of Highway 89, it was alive with mom and pop diners and motels. However, it also was, and still is in many respects, a place for outsiders and itinerants. It is a place of rich and diverse history, if you know where to look. Join us for an exploration of hot springs and railyards, Swedetown and Superfund sites, baptism and perhaps a little blood atonement, for good measure. After the tour, attendees are welcome to gather at The Garage on Beck for some comfort food and a frosty beverage or two and talk about the area. This “walk” covers a fair amount of ground, so please bring a bicycle.

Date: Saturday, August 27th

Time: 10:00 AM-12:00PM

Modality: Bicycle

Starting Location: Warm Spring Park (in the parking lot for the Warm Springs Plunge Building)- 840 300 North Panther Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84103

Ending Location: The Garage on Beck- 1199 Beck St, Salt Lake City, UT 84103

Host: Michael McLane (Literary Program Officer, Utah Humanities & Graduate of Environmental Humanities program at the University of Utah)

Host Contact: or 801-913-2167

RSVP via eventbrite by August 26th!

Bike Ride Route: