Salt Lake City was founded July 24, 1847 by a group of Mormon Pioneers whose group numbered a total of 148, consisting of 143 men, three women, and two children.
The Pioneers came to Utah to "find a place that no one else wanted". Indeed, with a salty, dead, smelly lake and a desert near by, it was a place that no sane person would want. Which is why they chose it.
The city is named, obviously after the lake -- "the Great Salt Lake", as is it's name. It's not a good name, I know, but it was either that or "Stinking cesspool of dead brine shrimp". Take your pick.
The City was designed in a "Form Following Function" Manner. It is laid out as square blocks, originally in 10-acre squares which were separated by 132 foot wide streets -- "wide enough for a team of four oxen and a covered wagon to turn around." This would be a boon later when the horseless carriage became popular -- while most major cities had to widen their streets to accommodate these new "automobiles", Salt Lake City not only had enough room for them, but for Trolley Tracks, too.
The (geographic) center of the city is the Salt Lake LDS Temple built on a plot of land named, aptly enough, Temple Square. Street numbers are laid out in radiation from that. The streets immediately adjacent to that are "North Temple", "South Temple", "East Temple" and (you guessed it) "West Temple"; streets beyond these are numbered as "100 x" (example being first street west of "West Temple" is "100 West", or also "First West"). Because of the logical (if unimaginative) layout, Salt Lake City is a place where it is easy to find any landmark from it's address. Just remember that all street numbers are figured radially from Temple Square in the form of "100 South", "200 South", etc. That means to the west of Temple Square is West Temple, and west of that is "100 West", and it also means that 300 North and 500 South would run parallel to each other, as would 400 East and 100 West.
Downtown Salt Lake City has a lot of landmarks worth noting: There is the ZCMI Center (the world's first department store), Abravanel Hall (formerly Symphony Hall, renamed in honour of Maurice Abravanel, the first conductor of the Utah Symphony), the Galavan Center, the Rio Grande Train Station and Memory Grove.