The Temple Square Hotel, once located on this corner, opened to much fanfare in 1930. Designed by the firm of Ashton and Evans, the hotel was one of the finest in the city, featuring a private bath and built in radio in every room. A more intimate setting than the grand Hotel Utah up the street, it marked the city’s growth as a regional business center.
For decades, the Temple Square Hotel was a particularly popular venue for wedding celebrations. The hotel was renovated and renamed the Inn at Temple Square in 1990 and then demolished in 2006 to make way for the Promontory on South Temple.
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.(*)
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.
Located on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints constructed this building between 1914 and 1917 to serve as its headquarters. Prior to its completion, the office of the Church President was located just to the east between Brigham Young’s Lion House and Beehive House. Today the Administration Building houses the offices of the Church’s First Presidency and other church leaders. This building is an excellent example of Neoclassical Style architecture. The 24 iconic pilasters which surround the exterior are made of solid granite. This granite, as well as that which covers the rest of the steel and concrete structure, was taken from the same quarry as the stone used to build the Salt Lake Temple.
Built by President Brigham Young and used by him as a residence from about 1855 until his death in 1877. On the lower floor were the dining room and kitchens. On the next floor were the living rooms and large parlor; and on the top floor were the bedrooms.
It was in this house that President Young died. Later the building was used for school purposes and as a social center for women and girls. The lion is a replica of one that occupied a similar position on a prominent home in Vermont, the State where President Young was born and spent his youth.
In 1869, Brigham Young founded the Young Women organization in the Lion House.
The Utah Historic Site plaque says the Lion House was constructed 1855-56 as a residence for Brigham Young and his family. The Lion House takes its name from the recumbent lion set on top of the front portico. The House was designed by Truman O. Angell and built of stuccoed adobe. Brigham Young, second president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and first territorial governor of Utah, died in this house on August 29, 1877. Since its construction, the Lion House has functioned as a community social center.
Tourstop 4 in the Salt Lake City Tour says: The Lion House takes its name from the carved lion on top of the front portico. The House was constructed with adobe blocks, a common building material during Utah’s settlement period. Brigham Young, second president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints built the Lion House for his wives and children. He and some early Church members practiced the Old Testament principle of polygamy which was officially ended in 1890. The basement contained a dining room which could accommodate 70 people. On the main floor were sitting rooms and bedrooms for wives with children. The second floor had bedrooms for children and childless wives – one under each of the 20 steeply-pitched gables.
Erected about 1852, used as the executive offices of the Territory of Utah until 1855, headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the time it was finished until 1917, when the new Church Office Building was completed.
For a short time it was also the Church Tithing Office. Many distinguished persons have been entertained here.
Presidents of the Church who occupied these offices were Brigham Young, 1852 – 1877; John Taylor, 1877 – 1887; Wilford Woodruff, 1887 – 1898; Lorenzo Snow, 1898 – 1901; Joseph F. Smith, 1901 – 1917.
The Christmas Lights at Temple Square in Salt Lake are a popular site that many travel to experience. They’re up from Thanksgiving to New Years every year. Here are some pictures I took this year (2017).