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PIPE ORGANS OF
TEMPLE SQUARE

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH

About the Joseph Smith Memorial Building

[Photo of Joseph Smith Memorial Building]
Joseph Smith Memorial Building

Fast Facts:

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building began life in 1911 as the Hotel Utah, which was shut down in 1987 and reopened in 1993 as the Joseph Smith Memorial Building following extensive rebuilding and renovation. Here are some facts regarding the Hotel Utah:

  • Initial discussion: April 17, 1909, by an interdenominational group of Salt Lake City businessmen
  • Incorporated: May 20, 1909
  • Ground broken: June 1, 1909
  • Opened to the public: June 9, 1911
  • Closing and renovation announced: March 12, 1987
  • Closed to the public: August 31, 1987
  • Location: 15 E. South Temple Street (northeast corner of Main and South Temple Streets)
  • Exterior materials: white terra cotta
  • Other interesting facts: when the Hotel Utah was still in operation, hotel workers would gather up all of the coins from the cash registers every night and run them through a washing machine so that they would gleam.

Following are some facts regarding the building's second life as The Joseph Smith Memorial Building:

  • Announced: March 12, 1987
  • Completed/Dedicated: June 27, 1993
  • Architects: FFKR, Salt Lake City
  • Dimensions: 468,433 square feet
  • Primary uses of building: FamilySearch center; Legacy Theater; restaurants and reception facilities; Distribution Center store; chapel; Church offices
  • Other interesting facts:
    • The renovated building was slated to be called the Utah Building, but the name was changed to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building at President Gordon B. Hinckley's suggestion when he realized that there was no edifice named for the Prophet on Temple Square.
    • The 9-foot tall statue of Joseph Smith in the lobby was formerly installed in the Independence, Missouri visitors' center; when the exhibit ended and the statue was no longer needed it was stored in a warehouse where it remained until being earmarked for the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.
The Chapel Organ
The organ in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building was installed in 1993 by Casavant Frθres of Ste. Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada. With 45 ranks and 2,484 individual pipes, it possesses unusual power, color and versatility for a two-manual instrument.  Specification

[Photo of Joseph Smith Memorial Building chapel organ]
Chapel organ -- Joseph Smith Memorial Building


This site is maintained by Richard Elliott, who is solely responsible for its content.
This is not an official publication of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
©2000 Richard Elliott
(This page was last updated on 14 November 2006 )

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