Construction Type

Commercial and industrial architectural design changed very little over the course of the 19th century. However, toward the end of the century technological progress in materials, particularly concrete and structural iron and steel reinforcement, made larger buildings possible. Early commercial buildings typically had a narrow street facade and an enclosed rectangular floor plan that could be divided according to the needs of the user. This worked well when several buildings were tightly lined up along a main thoroughfare within walking distance from residences, and the primary source of transportation was the horse. However, one invention had more influence on commercial architectural design than anything else, the automobile. Now that people were driving rather than walking, changes to both building and site were necessary to accommodate Commercial-&-Public-Building large vehicle parking and customer service. Several building types emerged in response to increased automobile usage, including motor courts, motels, commercial courts, drive-in restaurants, supermarkets, service stations, and service-bay businesses. By the early to mid-20th century there were more advances in commercial design than any other type of architecture, and the trend in Utah was similar to most areas of the country. Listed above are descriptions of the most common types of commercial and industrial architecture encountered in the state.


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