Hard to believe that this gorgeous building was once in America, right? It's a view of the Saltair Pavilion just outside Salt Lake City, Utah. Sadly, that particular incarnation of Saltair burned down in 1925, and each new version of the structure that was built after that gradually lost the old-school charm of the original. Today, Saltair III is still a popular concert venune, but it's a shadow of what it once was.

Originally owned by the Mormon Church, the original Saltair was intended to be a Utah version of Coney Island, out on a boardwalk into the Great Salt Lake. It was a nice escape for the people of Salt Lake City-- and a good way for younger Mormon couples to get out without being chaperoned by their parents. It was partially owned by groups associated with the Mormons, and they came under fire for selling coffee, tea and booze (prohibited in the Mormon faith) and for being open on Sundays (another no-no). The church sold the resort in 1906, and when it burned down in 1925, a new version was funded by new investors.

The new Saltair was similar to the old in that it had that Coney Island feel. At the time, it also had the world's largest dance floor, which helped launch its reputation as a concert venue. The amusement park, the picture shows and the dining became second to the dancing and the music. However, things weren't always smooth sailing for Saltair II-- interest dwindled, other concert venues and amusement spots opened closer to town, plus a fire in 1931 and a drought in 1933 wrecked havoc on the pavilion. It managed to hang on, despite being closed during WWII, until 1958, when it was shuttered for good...or so everyone thought.

In the early 1980s, it was decided that another venue, Saltair III (aka The Great Saltair), should be opened about a mile West of the original. It was strikingly different this time, having been built from an old Air Force hangar. It didn't prove to be much of a success until 2005, when musicians banded together to put on shows and support the spot. Despite the fact that there's a new Saltair, the remnants of the original are still visible-- you can still see pilings marching out into the lake from the highway, all that remains of what was once a grand and enchanting amusement park.

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