The Old Meeting House is a well known meetinghouse turned reception center in the Millcreek area of Salt Lake City, Utah. It is to be demolished for townhomes soon so I wanted to document it to be able to look back on.
4120 Highland Dr, Salt Lake City, UT 84124
Historically it was known as the Winder Ward, the first part was built in 1905 and the expansion was finished in 1933.
I saw some interesting facts posted online by Natalie Brown, the manager of the event center the building currently funtions as.
- In 1904 William Wallace Casper donated an acre of his land to the L.D.S. Winder Ward for their new chapel. As was the case then, the members were responsible to build and pay for their buildings. Although unfinished they held their first meeting on December 3 1905. Finally finished, on the 1st of July 1906, the First Presidency of the L.D.S. Church was in attendance and congratulated the the people on the completion of their chapel. The custom then, as now, was to defer dedication of the building until it was paid for. That day came on September 1, 1914.
- The building was closed for 3 months the winter of 1918 due to an outbreak of Influenza.
- There is a canal just west of the parking lot called the “church canal” it was originally built to carry stone from Little Cottonwood Canyon to the site of the Salt Lake Temple.
- An addition of north and south wings, a theatre built in the basement and a face lift on the outside all took place between 1924 and 1931.
- In June of 1939 the chapel ceiling collapsed, destroying chandeliers and damaging benches but they remodeled and the building was rededicated in December of 1939 by L.D.S. Church President Heber J. Grant.
- In 1940 a pipe organ was installed.
- In 1942 the orchard land to the south was donated for more parking.
- In 1958 the theatre was turned into a multi-purpose room.
- In 1976 they held the last and final meeting before it was sold. In 1978 Sandra Gardner, looking for a venue to hold her daughters wedding reception, met the owner and discovered he was looking for someone to run it. She decided to give it a try. Sandra and her husband eventually bought the business and later the building.