300 South Rio Grande Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84101-1104
Rio Art Gallery
Located in the grand lobby of the old Rio Grande Depot, the Rio Gallery was established as a service to Utah artists, providing a free venue for emerging as well as established artists to gather and educate the community through their artwork.
Rio Grande Depot History
It was a busy place – with the huffing of locomotives pulling in and out, the echoing hubbub of the grand lobby, steps hurrying across the marble floor, the calls of baggage handlers, passengers at the ticket counter, people chatting in the coffee shop.
Built for $750,000, the depot was the main jewel of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad—and a worthy challenge to new Union Pacific Depot, which cost a mere $300,000. Railroads were big business in those days. And a fierce competition raged between the D&RGW’s George Gould and UP’s E. H. Harriman.
The main Rio Grande line ran to Denver through Carbon County and Grand Junction. Spur lines ran to several mining areas and to Ogden. But the Union Pacific controlled the rail traffic to the Pacific. So George Gould decided to build his own line to San Francisco. He succeeded, but the line cost twice as much as he had planned on–$75 million—and sucked his family’s fortune dry. He lost his railroad empire shortly after.
Art Gallery Hours
7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Monday – Thursday; Closed Friday and Saturday
(801) 236-7555 – Arts & Museums Main Number
(801) 533-3592 – Museum Services
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