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Council House – Utah’s First Public Building

The Council House, a sandstone and adobe building designed by Truman O. Angell, was completed on this site in 1851.  As the state’s first public building, it fulfilled multiple roles, housing government and church offices, as well as various public and private council meetings.  The territorial legislature convened here, as did the University of Deseret (now the University of Utah).  It also housed a library and city and county courts and offices.  At various times, the building contained space for religious rites, offices of the Deseret News and the Women’s Exponent, and a practice hall for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

In June 1883, the Council House was destroyed in a spectacular fire when a neighboring building burned and a stockpile of fun powder exploded.  Several adjacent buildings were also lost of the flames.  A few months later, the city established a professional fire department.

Key Bank is now located at this location.

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