First Latter-day Saint Chapel in Phoenix
The first meetinghouse in Phoenix for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) was built on this site by the three-hundred-member congregation of the Phoenix Ward. At the time, J. Robert Price was bishop.
Since their beginning in 1912 with nine members, the Latter-day Saints in Phoenix had met in four different locations – – the Knights of Pythias Hall at 23 East Washington Street, a laundry at 534 West Washington Street, an old Spanish-style building at 121 South First Avenue, and a room over a bicycle shop at 237 North Fifth Street. They purchased this area on the eastern edge of Phoenix’s original city plat and built their first chapel 1918-1919.
The handsome meetinghouse – – designed by Pop and Burton, Architects, of Salt Lake City – – was an early example of the influence Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture had in the Southwest. The Latter-day Saints worshipped here for nearly thirty years. Phoenix used it as a community center, and weekly businessmen’s luncheons and youth dances were held in the building.
By 1923, a thriving congregation (ward) of 730 made it necessary to expand the building; after further expansion in 1926, the meetinghouse filled this plaza area. Other wards were organized and more chapels were built, but the Phoenix First Ward continued to meet here until 1948, and Brill was completed. The building on this site was sold to another church and eventually demolished in 1969.
Bishop J. Robert Price, 1918-1926
Bishop George F. Price, 1926-1928
Bishop John H Udall, 1928-1938
Bishop Arch B. Campbell, 1938-1950
Sons of Utah Pioneers, Salt River Chapter and Historic Arts and Sites Committee of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Plaque located in Heritage Square.