Location: 51 South and State St. – Social Hall Ave.
This monument marks the site of the Social Hall, the first recreation center in the intermountain west. Built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints under the direction of Brigham Young. Made of plastered adobe walls with native wood floors and roof. Auditorium 40 by 60 feet, seating 350 persons – stage 20 by 40 feet – dressing rooms and banquet hall in basement. Dedicated January 1, 1853.
Here the Deseret Dramatic Association conducted many home talent theatricals, musicales and other festivities. Sessions of the Legislature, official meetings, receptions, banquets, and other social functions were held here. It was used as theatre, library and gymnasium by the Mutual Improvement Associations.
In 1922 the building was razed.
This is UPTLA Marker #20, see other historic markers in the series on this page for UPTLA/SUP Markers.
Salt Lake City Tour #8 is also here. See also, Social Hall Museum.
Social Hall Site
Original building, 1852; Glass monument, 1992
This glass enclosure marks the site of Social Hall, Utah’s first Theater. Mormon settlers built the Social Hall in 1852, just five years after their arrival in the Salt Lake Valley. The simple adobe building was evidence of the strong tradition of theater in Mormon culture. The original Social Hall was demolished in 1922. In 1990, workers discovered the hall’s foundation while excavating for a walkway beneath State Street. Two years later, a glass structure mirroring the original size and shape of Social Hall was built on top of the foundation. To see the Social Hall foundation and an exhibit about the building, enter the glass structure and proceed to the basement level.
(Tour Stop 8)
The above photos are from my 2017 visit, I stopped by in 2022 to get updated photos and they have moved the monument down into the Social Hall Museum, same location, lower elevation. Below are the updated photos: