SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – For those new to Utah, the grid system may be a tricky concept to get used to. However, those of us who have grown up in the state know that once you understand the system it gets much easier to determine your location while driving. 

John Gleason of Utah’s Department of Transportation (UDOT) explained it best to ABC4, telling us that essentially, Salt Lake Temple is the epicenter of the grid.

Gleason added that every address in Salt Lake City is made up of two coordinates — one that tells us how far the location is east or west of Temple Square, and another that tells us how far the location is north or south from Temple Square.

It’s important to note that when written as an address, these coordinates are multiplied by 100.

“So, if you’re at 1200 South and 1300 West, then you’re 12 blocks south of Temple Square, and 13 blocks west of Temple Square,” said Gleason. 

According to MappingSLC, the grid system came about just three days after the first pioneer company arrived in Utah.

Brigham Young declared Temple Square the center of the grid and went on to lay out 135 ten-acre blocks. He established that “all streets would follow the cardinal points of the compass, each street name based on its distance and direction from the proposed Temple.”