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Liz Martin, Deseret Morning News
Pedestrians walk past the Cathedral of the Madeleine on South Temple Monday.

South Temple in Salt Lake City has been deemed by a national group as one of the top 10 great streets in America.

The street received the designation by the American Planning Association's Great Places in America program.

The ambience, safety and history of the street, as well as the city's efforts to preserve and restore the street, contributed to the ranking.

"They (the city) realized the street has to still function, but they brought it back and paid particular attention to details around the character of the street," said Denny Johnson, public affairs coordinator for the American Planning Association.

Each year the organization looks at nominated streets from around the country to name the top 10 great streets. The program considers sustainability, attractiveness, sociability, the neighborhood and personal identity, among other things, in determining the great streets.

The historical significance and diversity of South Temple, as well as the community's commitment to preservation, also contributed to the street's distinction, Johnson said.

Johnson mentioned the transformation of many of the old mansions into offices as something the organization appreciated about the street.

The mixed-use development — commercial, retail and residential space — and the diversity of institutions — LDS Business College, the Masonic temple, the Salt Lake Temple, the Cathedral of the Madeleine, the Presbyterian Church, the Governor's Mansion, among others — all contribute to South Temple's greatness, Johnson said.

South Temple was originally intended to be the most prominent avenue in Salt Lake City, according to the planning association. It was the first street in Salt Lake City to have curbs, sidewalks and street lights and was the first place in Utah to be designated a National Historic District, the association said.

The city rebuilt South Temple from 2002-04. During the project, existing metal lattice posts from the 1890s were "removed, restored and reinstalled along the street," according to the planning association.

Salt Lake City officials are excited about the national recognition.

"South Temple has long been a beautiful, outstanding boulevard in our city, with many treasured historical attractions," Salt Lake Mayor Rocky Anderson said in a statement. "Our community is proud of South Temple and gratified it is being recognized as a national landmark."

Businesses along South Temple enjoy being on the street.

Kathleen Halford, owner of The Brides' Shop, said the street is a great location for a business since it is a main thoroughfare and it is aesthetically pleasing.

Folks at the The Brides' Shop neighbor, Black Sheep Wool Co., agree.

The yarn company moved from Sugar House four years ago, and its business has increased. Anne Gilmour, an employee with the shop for 12 years, said South Temple feels safe and welcoming and customers find it an easy place to shop.

The other top 10 streets are:

• Bull Street — Savannah, Ga.

• Canyon Road — Santa Fe, N.M.

• Delmar Loop — University City and St. Louis, Mo.

• Main Street — Northampton, Mass.

• Monument Avenue — Richmond, Va.

• North Michigan Avenue — Chicago, Ill.

• Ocean Drive — Miami Beach, Fla.

• 125th Street — Harlem, N.Y.

• St. Charles Avenue — New Orleans, La.

Photo exhibition set

An exhibition of historical photographs related to South Temple will be Oct. 3-14 at the Rio Grande Exhibit Hall, 270 S. Rio Grande, and Oct. 15-25 at the Salt Lake City Public Library, 210 E. 400 South, as part of National Community Planning Month www.planning.org/ncpm)

E-mail: [email protected]