“The Eagle Gate was erected in 1859, Hiram B. Clawson, designer; Ralph Ramsay and William Bell, carvers. It formed a part of a cobble stone wall, 8 feet high and 500 rods long, which surrounded the grounds of President Brigham Young and was built by him as a protection against Indians, and to furnish labor to the unemployed. Torn down in 1890 to widen the street and to permit the passage of electric cars. Rebuilt in 1891.”
When the Eagle Gate was reconstructed and dedicated October 5, 1891, a treasure box was sealed in the granite base containing newspapers, photographic views, personal cards and a copper plate engraved by David McKenzie, Containing the paragraph quoted above.
The 16 foot wooden eagle, weighing 500 pounds, the beehive and four-way wooden supports were placed in March 1859, over the original gate way, leading to City Creek Canyon and the private grounds of Brigham Young, Governor of Utah.
At the time of reconstruction the original wooden eagle was sent to Chicago, Electroplated with copper and replaced over the present gate.
See other historic markers in the series on this page for UPTLA/SUP Markers.
Several SUP/UPTLA Markers are located near each other here.
- #34 – Eagle Gate
- #35 – A Private School House
- #50 – The Bee-Hive House
- #51 – The Lion House
- #52 – Brigham Young’s Office
Location: 51 South and State St. – Social Hall Ave.
This monument marks the site of the Social Hall, the first recreation center in the intermountain west. Built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints under the direction of Brigham Young. Made of plastered adobe walls with native wood floors and roof. Auditorium 40 by 60 feet, seating 350 persons – stage 20 by 40 feet – dressing rooms and banquet hall in basement. Dedicated January 1, 1853.
Here the Deseret Dramatic Association conducted many home talent theatricals, musicales and other festivities. Sessions of the Legislature, official meetings, receptions, banquets, and other social functions were held here. It was used as theatre, library and gymnasium by the Mutual Improvement Associations.
In 1922 the building was razed.
This is UPTLA Marker #20, see other historic markers in the series on this page for UPTLA/SUP Markers.
Salt Lake City Tour #8 is also here. See also, Social Hall Museum.
Social Hall Site
Original building, 1852; Glass monument, 1992
This glass enclosure marks the site of Social Hall, Utah’s first Theater. Mormon settlers built the Social Hall in 1852, just five years after their arrival in the Salt Lake Valley. The simple adobe building was evidence of the strong tradition of theater in Mormon culture. The original Social Hall was demolished in 1922. In 1990, workers discovered the hall’s foundation while excavating for a walkway beneath State Street. Two years later, a glass structure mirroring the original size and shape of Social Hall was built on top of the foundation. To see the Social Hall foundation and an exhibit about the building, enter the glass structure and proceed to the basement level.
(Tour Stop 8)
The above photos are from my 2017 visit, I stopped by in 2022 to get updated photos and they have moved the monument down into the Social Hall Museum, same location, lower elevation. Below are the updated photos:
Honor thy Father and Thy Mother
Old Folks Day was inaugurated in Salt Lake City in 1875, by Charles R. Savage, assisted by Edward Hunter, Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and George Goddard, since which time all persons seventy or more years of age have been honored at an annual celebration in nearly every community in Utah. Travel, refreshment and entertainment are free. (Gilbert Griswold So.)
See other historic markers in the series on this page for UPTLA/SUP Markers.
The Conference Center, located in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the premier meeting hall for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Substantially completed in spring 2000 in time for the church’s April 2000 general conference, the 21,000-seat Conference Center replaced the traditional use of the nearby Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square, built in 1868, for semi-annual LDS Church general conferences and major church gatherings, devotionals, and other events. It is believed to be the largest theater-style auditorium ever built.
The Church Office Building (COB) is a 28-story building in Salt Lake City, Utah, which houses the administrative support staff for the lay ministry of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) throughout the world.
Located at 50 East North Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“An astronomical station, its stone base still standing 100 ft. N. and 50 ft. W. of this corner was established by George W. Dean, U.S.C.&G. survey, September 30, 1869, to determine the true latitude and longitude; it was used to obtain correct time at this point until December 30, 1897.” (from the plaque on for the Great Salt Lake Base and Meridian)
|Placed By:||Not Available|
|Materials:||Engraved in the stone|
|Constructed By:||Not Available|
|Materials:||Cut sandstone block|
|Dimensions (base):||2′ Square|
|Surveyor’s Name:||Kate Wacker|
Undoubtedly the most well known monument in Salt Lake City, it sits at the base reference point for the original plat map and the current address numbering system.
In Honor Of Brigham Young and The Pioneers
On the reverse is a plaque that names the entire complement of the original party:
The names of the PIONEERS who arrived in this valley, July 24, 1847.
*Signifies those now living. The unmarked ones are all deceased.The names of 143 men (including 3 colored servants), 3 women, and 2 children.
27 of those listed are marked as still among the living at time of dedication, 50 years to the day from the initial arrival in the valley.
The entire company and outfit consisted of 143 men, 3 women, 2 children
70 wagons, 1 boat, 1 cannon, 93 horses, 52 mules, 66 oxen, 19 cows.
This monument erected by public subscription. Was unveiled July 24, 1897.
The monument is topped by Brigham Young himself, flanked at a lower level by a frontiersman and a native American. These figures represent those who precede the Pioneers in the valley and gave the immigrants invaluable aid in settling the valley. The monument is faced with a plaque showing a Mormon family going about routine duties during the trek west.
The artist was Cyrus Dallin.
Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City has a ton to see, history, art and more.
Posts for things on or near Temple Square:
- Assembly Hall
- Brigham Young Historic Park
- Brigham Young Monument
- Christmas Lights
- Church Office Building
- Conference Center
- Eagle Gate
- Great Salt Lake Base and Meridian
- Honor thy Father and Thy Mother
- Joseph Smith Memorial Building
- LDS Church Administration Building
- LDS Temple
- Pioneer Log Home
- US Base Meridian
- Visitor Centers – North and South
- 2007 Photos
- Temple Square Christmas Lights 2016
- Temple Square Christmas Lights 2017
- Temple Square Christmas Lights 2018
- Temple Square Christmas Lights 2019
Temple Square is located between North Temple and South Temple and between West Temple and State Street in the downtown neighborhood of Salt Lake City, Utah and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places October 15, 1966 (#66000738).
Temple Square is a ten acre block in Salt Lake City, the point from which all city streets are numbered. A fifteen foot high wall surrounding the square does much to give the square a more peaceful atmosphere than the surrounding business area. Completed in 1857, the wall is adobe with a sandstone base. The square includes eight major points of interest, landscaped grounds and smaller monuments. The major structures include:
The TABERNACLE. Constructed 1863-67 by Henry Grow and William Folsom, the 150×250 foot tabernacle is covered by a unique Remington “lattice -truss” roof, supported only by great wooden arches. The roof rests like a great inverted bowl on 44 red sandstone buttresses. The Tabernacle is particularly impressive since its construction was completed prior to the use of steel girders and tie rods in building. The acoustic
qualities of the Tabernacle are famous — a pin dropped near the pulpit can be heard distinctly in the opposite end of the auditorium, some 200 feet away. The Tabernacle Organ is also well-publicized.: First used in 1867 with 700 pipes operating, the organ has been powered by electricity since 1915 and now totals nearly 11,000 pipes.
THE TEMPLE. The temple was built 1853-1893 under the direction of Truman O. Angell and Joseph Young. Its foundation is sixteen feet wide and sixteen feet deep, with basement walls nine feet thick. The 186 J./2 by 118 1/2 foot structure is mounted with an east center tower 210 feet high and a west center tower 204 feet high. Flanking both center towers are towers of lesser height. The Temple has been open to Mormons only since 1893.
ASSEMBLY HALL. Constructed 1877-1882 by William Folsom, the semi-Gothic hall is 120 x 68 feet and was built to accommodate overflow from conferences in the Tabernacle. Its incomplete spires were originally chimneys.
THE OLD LOG CABIN. This small, one-room cabin was built in 1847 at the mouth of Emigration Canyon above Salt Lake City. In 1849 it was moved downtown, and in 1921 it was given to the Mormon Church. It was then moved first to the Vermont Building Museum and later to Temple Square, where it was placed underneath an open, neo-classical enclosure for protection.
MUSEUM. The forerunner of the present museum was established in 1869 by John W. Young son of Brigham Young. In 1904 the first section of the present building was erected and in 1910 a second story was added.
VISTOR’S CENTER. This modern building was opened in 1966, and offers displays and films portraying the history and doctrine of the Mormon Church. Included are a three dimensional diorama of Joseph Smith’s vision and a reproduction of Thorvaldsen’s Christus, surrounded by a massive painting of the universe.
SEA GULL MONUMENT. Erected in 1913, the monument commemorates the rescue of the Mormon’s 1848 grain crop from a plague of crickets by sea gulls from the west. A granite pedestal and column 16 feet high support a large granite ball upon which two sea gulls, bronze with gold leaf, are alighting. The sculptor was Mahroni Young. Other monuments include memorials to Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith (brother of Joseph, killed with him in Illinois, 1844), the Handcart Pioneers, and to “the witnesses to the divine origin of the Book of Mormon.”
The modern metropolis of Salt Lake City is today an imposing monument to the determination and industry of the Mormons following their arrival in Great Salt Lake Valley in 1847. Of the many historic sites and buildings in Salt Lake City, Temple Square best captures the essence of the Mormon achievement in building a kingdom on the Utah desert. It illustrates, for Mormons and non-Mormons alike, the migration
to Great Salt Lake Valley and the formative years of the civilization there erected. Today Temple Square not only dominates the architecture but also the daily life of Salt Lake City.
Such was Brigham Young’s intent when in 1847 he approved the plan of the city. Punching his cane into the ground, he said, “Here will be the Temple of our God.” Forty acres, later reduced to 10, were staked out, and from the southeast corner of the square Orson Pratt surveyed and laid out the streets of the city.
Temple Square began to take shape in the early 1850 f s. By 1855 a 15-foot adobe and sandstone wall surrounded the square. In 1853 ground-breaking ceremonies launched construction of Brigham Young’s “Temple of our God.” The general plan was Young’s, conceived before the exodus from Missouri, and the details were worked out by Church architect Truman O. Angell. The walls rose slowly as great granite blocks, quarried in Little Cottonwood Canyon, were hauled by ox-team 20 miles to the building site. A railroad later hastened the process, but not until April 6, 1892, did thousands gather to watch the capstone placed on the towering edifice. Less slow of completion was the Tabernacle, then as now an architectural and engineering marvel. Conceived by Young as a meeting place for the General Conference of the Church, it was begun in 1862 and finished in 1867. By 1870 the great Tabernacle organ – 27 pedals, 2,638 pipes, and 35 stops—had been installed. The third historic building, completed in 1882, was the Assembly Hall, designed as a non-sectarian place of worship. Other buildings and monuments added in later years filled in the present pattern of Temple Square.
In addition to these major structures, Temple Square is also the location of the 1963 Visitor’s Center; the Church Bureau of Information and Museum, which displays exhibits depicting the migration and early years of Salt Lake City; the oldest house in Salt Lake City, a log cabin moved from its original location near present Pioneer Park; the Seagull Monument, commemorating the gulls that saved the first crops from destruction by crickets in 1848; and statues of the Three Witnesses (who testified to the authenticity of Joseph Smith’s golden plates), of Brigham Young, and of pioneer photographer Charles R. Savage. The wall built in the 1850’s still encloses the square.
The Handcart Pioneer monument is a tribute to the thousands of hardy Mormon pioneers who, because they could not afford the larger ox-drawn wagons, walked across the rugged plains in the 1850’s, pulling and pushing all of their possessions in handmade, all-wood handcarts. Some 250 died on the journey, but nearly 3,000, mostly British converts, completed the 1,350-mile trek from Iowa City, Iowa, to Salt Lake Valley. Many latter-day saints today proudly recount the trials and the triumphs of their ancestors who were among the Mormon handcart pioneers.