The Joseph Smith Memorial Building, originally called the Hotel Utah, is named in honor of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement. It is located on the corner of Main Street and South Temple, on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. It is now a social center with three restaurants: The Roof Restaurant, The Garden Restaurant and The Nauvoo Cafe. It is also a venue for events complete with 13 banquet rooms, catering services, event coordinators and a full-service floral department – Flowers Squared. Several levels of the building also serve as administrative offices for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) departments such as FamilySearch. On January 3, 1978, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places as the Hotel Utah.(*)
Tourstop 2 in the Salt Lake City Tour says:
Joseph Smith Memorial Building – Hotel Utah – 1909-1911, Parkinson & Bergstrom
The Hotel Utah was the “Grand Dame” of hotels in the intermountain west. For most of the 20th century the hotel hosted Utah’s most distinguished visitors and was a focal point of local social activity. As one historian wrote, “Everything that was anything was held there.” The building is a lavish example of Second Renaissance Revival Style architecture – with a Utah touch. Look for the huge brick and plaster beehive cupola atop the hotel. The Beehive is Utah’s state symbol. In 1987, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints decided to close the Hotel Utah and renovate the building to house church offices and meeting spaces. Today the hotel is known as the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.
The Utah Historic Site plaque says:
The corner of Main Street and South Temple has long been important in Utah history. Prior to construction of the Hotel Utah from 1909 to 1911, the general tithing office of the LDS Church, a bishop’s storehouse, and the Deseret News printing plant all were located on the site.
Work on the Second Renaissance Revival style hotel, designed by the Los Angeles architectural firm of Parkinson and Bergstrom, began in June 1909. Two years later, on June 9, 1911, the Hotel Utah opened for business. While the LDS Church was the primary stockholder, many Mormon and non-Mormon community and business leaders also purchased stock in the effort to provide the city with a first-class hotel.
The ten-story building has a concrete and steel structure and is covered with white glazed terra cotta and brick. Various additions and remodelings have occurred throughout the years, including a substantial expansion to the north and modifications to the roof-top dining facilities.
The building ceased operations as a hotel in August 1987. A major remodeling and adaptive reuse project to accommodate both community and church functions was completed in 1993.