Gallivan Plaza a finalist for Great Places in America

Food Truck Thursdays have become a popular event at the Gallivan Center. Photo by Isaac Riddle.
Food Truck Thursdays have become a popular event at the Gallivan Center. Photo by Isaac Riddle.

Salt Lake’s Gallivan Center is one of five finalists for the American Planning Association’s, Great Places in America “People’s Choice” designation.  Voting is open to everyone via the APA’s website until October 30.  The winner will be announced November 2.

Opened in 1993 by the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake, the 22-year old Gallivan Center has become one of the City’s busiest public spaces.  The plaza hosts hundreds of events throughout the year from summer concerts and festivals to winter ice-skating.

In the past three decades, the Gallivan Center has changed looks and uses.  Up until 2010, the Gallivan hosted the Twilight Concert Series summer concerts until moving to Pioneer Park while the Gallivan was closed for renovations.   After the Gallivan reopened in 2011, City leaders determined the larger park was a better venue for the Twilight Concert’s growing crowds.

Today the Gallivan is known for annual events like the Craft Lake City Festival and weekly events including, Food Truck Thursdays, the Excellence in the Community Evening Concert Series, Big Band Dance Nights, Monday Movie Night and the Lunch Bunch Concert Series.

The other four finalists for the people’s choice designation include:

  • Colley Avenue in Norfolk, Va.
  • the downtown district in Florence, Ala.
  • South Bend Farmers Market in South Bend, Ind.
  • Union Square in Somerville, Mass.

If the Gallivan Center were to win the people’s choice designation, it would be the third urban space in Salt Lake City to be officially recognized by the APA’s Great Places.  The Fairmont-Sugar House area was one of 10 neighborhoods listed as 2012’s Great Neighborhoods in America.  In 2007 the APA listed South Temple as one of 10 Great Streets for its, “historical residential design and craftsmanship, diversity of land uses and the integration of multiple forms of transportation throughout history.”

Last year it was 25th Street in Ogden to receive national recognition from the APA’s Great Places in America.  The three-block stretch of 25th Street running east from Wall Avenue to Washington Boulevard was listed as one of 2014’s Great Streets.

Follow the link to vote.

The Gallivan Center is surrounded by some of Salt Lake's tallest buildings. Photo by Isaac Riddle.
The Gallivan Center is surrounded by some of Salt Lake’s tallest buildings. Photo by Isaac Riddle.

Posted by Isaac Riddle

Isaac Riddle grew up just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a BA in English literature from the University of Utah and a Masters of Journalism from Temple University. Isaac has written for Next City, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook and Salt Lake City Weekly. Before embarking on a career in journalism, Isaac taught High School English in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Isaac is the founder of Building Salt Lake and can be reached at