The first location of Salt Lake's Equitable Life and Casualty was housed in the old Eagle's lodge building on 4th South and West Temple. According to this website Roderick Ross had established the company in said location in 1948. The building itself did not seem the ideal for the insurance business - at least not with the Eagle's Lodge floor plan. Perhaps in the late 1940's it didn't matter that the building contained skinny stairs and a balcony, but it seemed quite inappropriate in the 1980s.
My dad had been hired as a computer programmer. I think he used a different entrance to the building than the majority of workers. On occasion I had opportunity to visit him at his place of work. As a child I remember seeing parts of what I believed to be the basement. My dad worked with one those huge wall-to-wall computers (or maybe several) that may have well taken up the majority of the basement. It is the break room that I remember most. I remember tables were set up and at least two different vending machines. One was quite tiny and offered tiny bottled drinks that cost a dime. Another machine offered cigarettes. I don't remember seeing any other part of the building until I was employed there myself.
Good grief! What a mess! I remember the file cabinets were located on the balcony. The layout of the office space had not been planned. File cabinets were added and continued to crowd the already closeted feeling workspace. I remember looking out over the floor below the balcony thinking how everything seemed disarray and congested.
The building itself may have been a prime location when it housed the Eagles or even when the Insurance Company took over. However, the neighborhood itself had seemed to go downhill - even with the Sheraton Hotel owning property just beyond the building on the corner.
There was a building sandwiched between the Equitable building and the Sheraton parking lot. I don't know if it had a name. Most people unfondly called it "Bum Motel" as there were many residents that seemed to lack ethics and made a habit of getting drunk. I recall dad coming home from work one time to report that a drunk had fallen out of the window and landed on somebody's car. The drunk was so intoxicated, he was able to walk away. The car was severely damaged. I was told that Ross' had tried to buy them out and had speculated that Sheraton had tried to buy out the owner as well, but the owner wouldn't budge.
I had not worked at said location for long. The company moved to a much nicer building, nicer location and much bigger parking lot. The building that had once housed the Eagles and then Equitable was eventually purchased by a company that turned it into a dance hall of sorts. It was called "The Bay". I remember having gone there just one time. It appeared that the structure must have been gutted out an rebuilt. As I recall the interior did not remotely resemble the building I had been familiar with several years before.
The outside still looks the same. I don't know if it is currently occupied or not. This site says it is a historical landmark. I found this picture on google map
From the outside, the building looks the same as it did in 1948. The picture I had used in this post didn't appear to have ownership either but contains advertisement to put your name here. I don't know if it was advertized on the building itself or just the photo that I used. The Google picture doesn't have a name on the building. I have noticed at least two other vacant buildings during my search.
I also learned that 400 South is now called University Boulevard - which I guess could have been its name for the last twenty years. I didn't realize it had been given that name until I started doing research for my assignment. It was probably named so after UTA started using the trains. The building seems like it would be a good location as it is next to TRAX (Utah's extended public transportation) but still may not be the greatest part of town. I don't know this for sure. I'm not there anymore.