Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Wrecking Ball Blues

Wrecking Ball Blues

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 21, 2010

While trying to answer a recent question on the date of the destruction demolition of the old Annex to the Salt Lake Temple (see J.’s post for photographs), I skimmed through the newspaper from February 1962 to February 1963 looking for a story. I was shocked to note how many other historic Mormon buildings had been torn down during that single year.

I know I’m sentimental about the Mormon past, including its material relics. I know that everything can’t be saved – the current church membership must be served; everything can’t remain as a shrine to past church membership. I know that buildings of the past very often don’t serve the needs of the present. And I know that most of these buildings were replaced (albeit with ugly 1960s architecture). And during the same year, the North Visitors’ Center on Temple Square was completed, the Oakland Temple was built, and several important buildings on the BYU campus (including the Harris Fine Arts Center) were built.

Still … I’m shocked by the seemingly cavalier attitude that accompanied the demolition of these buildings, and by how fast they disappeared. Very often, newspaper accounts noting their passing were illustrated by photographs of the wrecking ball in action, as if the demolition were something to cheer. For someone who loves the old, those celebratory wrecking-ball pictures were too ghoulish, too much like photographs of painful, drawn-out executions.

So naturally I scanned those photos to share with you. I wish they were of better quality, but this is the best I could do with photos taken from microfilmed newspapers and, in some cases, photocopies made from those microfilms.

Let’s see what we lost from February 1962 to February 1963:

The Sixth Ward (by then the Sixth-Seventh Ward) chapel, built in 1872 and expanded in 1885, housed one of the original Salt Lake City wards. The chapel was dedicated by John Taylor, with Brigham Young the chief speaker. It served as a ward school in the 19th century, and in the 20th century housed Salt Lake’s first Mexican Branch with services in Spanish. The building is shown here in happier days, as well as mid-way through demolition. In 1962, the Sixth-Seventh Ward had already moved into its new building a couple of blocks away from this one.



The Lehi Tabernacle, built in 1900-10 and “Lehi’s most prominent landmark,” according to the Deseret News, with a tower “visible from this and many other Utah County vantage points,” was torn down to make way for “a modern, new structure” with a “gleaming spire.” When dedicated, the tabernacle held a pipe organ that was 19 feet high, 8 feet deep, and 20 feet wide, with a total of 792 pipes. After a few years of operation, the stake decided the building was too expensive to maintain so they sold it to the local school district. They later realized their mistake and purchased the building back. There would be no such reprieve in 1962 … down it came.


Plans for the construction of the Church Office Building required the clearing of most of the buildings on the north half of the block where the COB now stands, as well as some buildings on nearby blocks where temporary parking lots were mandated to replace parking lost during construction. This marked aerial photo identifies the buildings slated for demolition in that project:

1. The Mission Home, a series of houses remodeled to serve the needs of missionaries who reported to Salt Lake City for a week or so of orientation before going to their mission fields. The Mission Home would have been familiar to thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of our parents and grandparents:

2. The Sherrill Apartments, without a particularly historic Mormon connection.

3. LDS Business College; 4. Barratt Hall; 5. Brigham Young Building; 7. Deseret Gymnasium; 8. Joseph F. Smith Building. These were the buildings of the old Latter-day Saint University, which in their prime looked like this:


They stood in a semi-circle directly across the street (east) from the front of the Salt Lake Temple, built in the early years of the 20th century. After the school was closed, those buildings became home to the various church auxiliaries and the church magazines. In noting its passing, the newspaper offered faint cheer by reminding readers that “the memories of happenings in Barratt Hall will linger on as long as former students live to tell grandchildren about what happened ‘when I was at LDS.’” Well, those memories are gone now, and so is the building.

Here is Barratt Hall partway through demolition. Notice that no one has even bothered to salvage the statuary from the building before the wrecking ball came.


With all but the facades of the school buildings down, the newspaper cheered for the “new vista” of the Salt Lake Temple that was opening up to viewers from the east side.


6. The Bishops’ Building, or offices of the Presiding Bishopric, was another fine Mormon landmark that was torn down in 1962. It, too, had housed auxiliaries and magazines during part of its life.  Here is that building in its glory days:


And here it is in its death throes:


9. The Odeon dance hall and a bowling alley, without particular Mormon significance, were torn down to build what was constantly referred to as a “temporary” parking lot. That “temporary” lot remained for 43 years, until ground was broken on that corner for the Church History Library. (A propos of nothing in particular, except mention of the groundbreaking: I attended the ceremonies that day. After the dignitaries had left, the groundbreaking shovels were still standing in the dirt that had been hauled in for the groundbreaking. I went up along with a lot of other nobodies and turned over a few spades of dirt so that now I can claim to have had a part in building the Library.)

10. The former Ute hotel, turned temporarily into a Mission Home. It would soon be torn down to build another “temporary” parking lot that remained a vast field of asphalt until construction began on the Conference Center in 1997.

Although the marked view above doesn’t show it, demolition was slated for Temple Square as well. The Temple Annex came down in 1963. At least we can see that the windows are empty, so presumably the lovely art glass was salvaged for some purpose.


But there was destruction of historic structures on the site before the Annex was laid low: During construction of the North Visitors’ Center, the original pioneer-era adobe wall on the north side of Temple Square had been knocked down to allow construction access. Its remains were shoveled unceremoniously into heaps waiting to be hauled away as debris.


Once attention turned to the Temple Annex, the wall in the northeast corner and along the east side of the block faced the bite of the steam shovel:


This aerial view from 1963 shows the land cleared on Temple Square for the as-yet-to-be-begun Annex, and much of the clearing on the COB block, along with the foundation hole for the COB itself.  (The building across the street to the right of the temple is the Relief Society Building; you can just see the back end of the Hotel Utah — now the Joseph Smith Memorial Building — on the left. The west wing of the Hotel would soon be extended to be even with the east wing.)



A little painful, isn’t it, to witness, even vicariously, the last moments of some beautiful architecture, and some buildings with such a presence in our history – and so much of it in just a single year!



  1. Oh, the humanity. Might I suggest two possible content warnings to be placed under the title of this post:

    Warning: The contents of this post may cause mental and emotional distress and disturbance among history enthusiasts

    Warning: The contents of this post WILL cause mental and emotional distress among regular Keepapitchinin readers

    Comment by Justin — July 21, 2010 @ 7:45 am

  2. Well, thank goodness nobody tore down the Coalville Tabernacle.

    Comment by Mark B. — July 21, 2010 @ 8:13 am

  3. The 1960s are notorious for taking the wrecking ball to older buildings (and erecting ugly modernist architecture in its place). It’s too bad that we didn’t buck that trend.

    Comment by Wm Morris — July 21, 2010 @ 8:39 am

  4. *tear

    Comment by Ben — July 21, 2010 @ 8:45 am

  5. I recall being moved nearly to tears looking through a book on the Logan Temple, and seeing photographs of its 1970s destruction, with only the outside walls remaining. The book seemed to celebrate the construction of a completely “new” temple inside the old walls.

    I had a similar feeling seeing photographs of the destruction of Tiger Stadium in Detroit, a venue where I spent many, many happy hours.

    Comment by Left Field — July 21, 2010 @ 8:50 am

  6. Wow — what a sad, but powerful post. just keeps pumping out significant and interesting posts. Thanks for this.

    Comment by David Y. — July 21, 2010 @ 9:59 am

  7. What Justin said.

    I’m shocked at the Lehi Tabernacle. The Ephraim Tabernacle was torn down as well (1951), and someone will surely pay.

    Comment by J. Stapley — July 21, 2010 @ 10:08 am

  8. Shock and Dismay.

    I know it doesn’t have the same spiritual/wholesome backdrop, but I remember watching the Dunes and Sands hotels in Las Vegas being imploded. Everyone cheered with fists pumping as a piece of Las Vegas history was destroyed floor by floor. No matter that Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr. had performed at the Sands, and the hotel was owned by Howard Hughes. They were just excited to see an explosion 🙁

    Comment by Meghan — July 21, 2010 @ 10:54 am

  9. One of the justifications used in tearing down notable landmarks in order to improve them was the following scripture:

    D&C 82: 14
    14 For Zion must increase in beauty, and in holiness; her borders must be enlarged; her stakes must be strengthened; yea, verily I say unto you, Zion must arise and put on her beautiful garments.

    I don’t know how often it was pulled out in the 60s to combat the “sentimentalism” of saving old buildings, but I have one reference (from an earlier era) if anyone is interested.

    Comment by J Paul — July 21, 2010 @ 12:04 pm

  10. This is heartbreaking. No wonder I have heard folks refer to the COB as “The Great and Spacious Building” on occasions. The slow demolition process must have taken a long time, as I seem to recall my family taking my oldest brother to the old Mission Home on State Street in 1966, when he left for his mission. He must have been among the last group of missionaries to go through there. The Deseret Gymnasium hung in there longer, as I used to play early morning hoops there on Fridays in the late 1980’s.

    If they ever decide to take down the Paris, Idaho tabernacle, I will travel there to place my body in front of the wrecking ball. It was a fixture in the life of my grandparents when my mother was growing up in Bennington and Montpelier, Idaho.

    I do remember when the Assembly Hall on Temple Square was remodeled during the 1980’s. Even though the building was completely gutted, the Church made huge efforts to retain as much of the character of the building as possible, including hiring a stained glass restorer who was an acquaintance of mine to come up from California and supervise the removal and repair of the stained glass windows.

    One of the charming features of many of the old ward buildings and tabernacles was the sloping chapel floor, so if you dropped a baby bottle, it would often roll all the way the front of the chapel unimpeded, making it’s slow clunking progress from where my wife and I sat near the back with an infant or toddler or two.


    Comment by kevinf — July 21, 2010 @ 12:06 pm

  11. And I always thought that the proper appellation for that building was “the Vatican.” : )

    Comment by Mark B. — July 21, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

  12. What a great subject. My comments:
    1. The State Street Mission Home was still functioning in 1975 when we took our son there for his mission to Finland. He was soon sent to Rexburg where they had an LTM for Scandinavian languages.
    2. The Montpelier Stake Tabernacle was still there last October as we drove home from Jackson. This semicircular building was designed by the same architects that did the Alberta and Hawaii temples. It is still in use.
    3. While serving in the Chuirch History Library, I was assigned to search for a list of the various buildings that have been called tabernacles in the church. I never found such a list so I developed one. I found seventy (70) buildings that had been called tabernacles in locations around the world. I had a lot of fun with this and do not claim it to be complete. But it may be the best available until a better-trained researcher tackles the job.
    4. The latest Utah Historical Quarterly has an article on the Wasatch Stake Tabernacle in Heber City and the fight for its preservation. That struggle may give a long pause to anyone ready to fight for the preservation of their favorite old building.

    Comment by CurtA — July 21, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

  13. My family history records show the Marriott Ward (north of Ogden) demo’ed their meeting house in 1965. The trend continued…

    The LDS church seems to have little sentimentality for historic buildings. Except for a few years under Pres. Hinckley (who saved the Uintah Tabernacle and the old meetinghouse in The Hague for temples) it’s been a constant stream of demolition (See Coalville Tabernacle, Ogden Tabernacle, Amelia Palace and others) and near demolition (Granite Tabernacle, Brigham Young Academy, and most recently First Security Bank south of Temple Square). I guess speaking out can make a difference.

    And for the record, I think the Lehi Tabernacle bears a striking resemblance to Old Main at USU in Logan.

    I feel many of the old building had more aesthetic appeal–and were better built–than the structures that replaced them. <<sig.

    Comment by Clark — July 21, 2010 @ 1:56 pm

  14. I’ll have to do some more research on the Mission Home — the houses on State Street in the COB block have to have been torn down prior to either 1966 or 1975 mentioned by kevinf and CurtA, because the foundation hole for the COB was dug in 1962 and the COB itself opened in, what, 1971? and the houses on the COB block, as shown in the marked aerial photo, couldn’t coexist with the COB construction. So either I’m confused and have a picture of the wrong houses on State Street (I don’t think so, because I scanned this from a 1962 DesNews article talking about the coming demolition of those buildings), or else the State Street Mission Home that readers are remembering is a later iteration, perhaps on the next block north? Or something else entirely that isn’t occurring to me. In any case, this calls for clarification.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 21, 2010 @ 1:57 pm

  15. Ardis,

    I think there may be a disconnect between the numbers in the aerial view picture, and the captions for the pictures in your post. # 10 in the aerial view I believe is the Deseret Gymnasium, and now that I think about it, the Mission Home that I recall now may have been on West Temple, and doesn’t show up in this view. Were there two different Mission Homes in different locations near Temple Square at different times? The one I recall was on the west side of the street, and not the east side as shown in location #1. The Deseret Gymnasium I frequented was just up the hill on Main, and I recall it being demolished to make room for the conference center.

    That’s the problem with trusting memory. Neither State or Main north of Temple Square are as flat as the picture of the Mission home you show here. The building fits my recollection, but I was a clueless 14 year old at the time, so who knows?

    Comment by kevinf — July 21, 2010 @ 2:20 pm

  16. The Deseret Gym you remember was built when the one behind the Hotel Utah (used as part of the university) was torn down — that much I’m sure of. But as for the history of the mission home, I’m much less sure. I know the location did change from time to time — I think it was in the old Lafayette School at one time (it’s visible but unnumbered in the aerial photo, between 2 and 9), as well as being quartered in the remodeled Ute hotel during the 1962-63 demolitions, and that it was planned to put the mission home in the east wing of the COB (the place vacated a year ago by the church library and archives), but I don’t know whether it was in more than one set of old remodeled homes. That’s the research I’ll have to do.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 21, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

  17. Ardis, now that is making more sense to me. I do recall now that building just east of the new CHL was a mission home, so now I am wondering if there weren’t as many as four different mission homes in the vicinity of Temple Square over the years. 1) on State Street facing west in the aerial photo, 2) the south facing building on North Temple you referred to in your comment above, 3) the old Ute Hotel, and 4) finally the one that I remember taking my brother to in 1966 with my family.

    Maybe I shouldn’t try and save the Paris Tabernacle. I might go to the wrong Paris.

    Comment by kevinf — July 21, 2010 @ 2:41 pm

  18. I think you’d enjoy yourself whichever Paris you ended up visiting.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 21, 2010 @ 2:46 pm

  19. This is one of the most painful and depressing posts I have ever seen. Thanks a lot Ardis! 🙂 In particular, the Lehi Tabernacle and Bishops Building were spectacular buildings. Had they been allowed to stand, those two buildings would have been as well-used and loved today as the JSMB/Hotel Utah is. How sad that it took the loss of almost all of our great buildings before we realized the potentials of adaptation and re-use. The floor here at work is lined with photos of LDS buildings, and I have a hard time looking at them, because all but one or two have been demolished.

    Do you have any info on the Genealogical Society building which was also east of the Temple? At first I thought it was the same building as Barratt Hall since the front facades are quite similar. (

    From this photo it appears that this building was also torn down in the summer of 1962. It also appears to have been located at the #4 or #5 spot on your labeled aerial.

    Finally, I knew I had seen a picture of an amphitheater east of the temple, and sure enough I found it again in this picture.(

    Since this was taken in ’64/’65, they must have built the amphitheater AFTER tearing down the Bishops bldg. What a replacement!

    Comment by Jonathan K — July 21, 2010 @ 3:16 pm

  20. While serving in the Chuirch History Library, I was assigned to search for a list of the various buildings that have been called tabernacles in the church. I never found such a list so I developed one. I found seventy (70) buildings that had been called tabernacles in locations around the world. I had a lot of fun with this and do not claim it to be complete. But it may be the best available until a better-trained researcher tackles the job.

    Sounds like a great project. Richard Jackson’s Places of Worship lists 78 such buildings (Appendix 5). He lists another 14 buildings that have been referred to as tabernacles that, in his view, “really were not.”

    Comment by Justin — July 21, 2010 @ 3:25 pm

  21. In September 1973, the Mission Home was an old school on North Temple a bit east, I believe, of the COB. In the photograph with the numbers, it’s the U-shaped building just above the number 8.

    I’ll have to see if I can dig up my mission call from an unsorted box of papers somewhere in this mess I live in, and see if perhaps the address of the Mission Home is listed there. That might provide some better evidence than my fleeting memory.

    Comment by Mark B. — July 21, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

  22. That would be the Lafayette School, Mark, although it would have been directly across from, rather than east of, the COB (any further east and you’re across State Street, heading up the hill into the Avenues, and there wasn’t a school on those blocks). Okay, we’re pinning that part down!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 21, 2010 @ 3:34 pm

  23. President Hinkley also saved the Tenth Ward chapel at a considerable expense. A beautiful building, Hooray for Hinkley!!!

    Comment by J Paul — July 21, 2010 @ 3:49 pm

  24. After looking at this a little closer, I’m pretty sure that the Genealogical Society building is #8 on the aerial, also called the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, or the Joseph F Smith building.

    Comment by Jonathan K — July 21, 2010 @ 3:51 pm

  25. It has been a few years and I don’t know the names of the streets but I started my mission Sept. 1965 and my mission home was north of the temple on the west side of the street. We went across the street to what I think was a school to have that weeks missionaries picture taken. There were bleachers there that we stood on. We did one session in the SL Temple and then we climbed up to an assembly room where we were instructed by some of the GA’s. We were then led through an underground tunnel to the basement of the Hotel Utah where we were given breakfast. I remember having oatmeal. We had to go to the old Church Office Building to be set apart as missionaries…about 400 of us as I remember. I was interviewed for my mission by Thomas S. Monson and set apart by Harold B. Lee. I presume that was common in those days. At weeks end we boarded a train to Denver where we overnighted and the next day caught a train to Dallas.

    Comment by Alan LeBaron — July 21, 2010 @ 4:52 pm

  26. I was in the penultimate group of missionaries to enter the Salt Lake Missionary Home (not “Mission Home”) directly across from the COB on October 7, 1978. The final group would have entered on October 14, after which the Missionary Home closed and was torn down.

    The same building (an old school building) was in service about 3-4 years earlier when my brother left. Originally, all (North American) missionaries went to the SL Missionary Home for 5 or 6 days before being shipped out to LTMs in Provo, Rexburg, or Laie, or (if English-speaking) to their fields of labor. Sometime between when my brother left and when I did, they consolidated all language training into the Provo LTM, and started having non-English-speaking missionaries report directly to Provo. English speakers continued to go to the Salt Lake Missionary Home until I think sometime in 1978, when the Provo LTM became the MTC, and some English speakers started reporting to Provo.

    My call instructed me to report to the Missionary Home in Salt Lake for 5 days of training before leaving for New York. However, nobody (NOBODY) would believe me. Other missionaries in my group reported the same problem. It was well-known that training for all missionaries was moving to Provo, but it was less well-known that some English speaking missionaries were still being sent to Salt Lake. Everybody was sure that I was supposed to go to Provo.

    “It must be a mistake; they’ll probably send you another letter.”

    “You should go back and read your call again; everyone is going to Provo now. You must have misread the letter.”

    “I know they’re not sending anyone to Salt Lake any more because my cousin just got called to an English-speaking mission and he went to Provo.”

    I tried to patiently explain to everyone that the prophet had sent me a letter telling me to go to Salt Lake, and it was to Salt Lake I was going to go.

    “Then I’m sure they’ll put you on a bus and send you down to Provo.”

    Me: “Aaaaaarggggh!”

    Comment by Left Field — July 21, 2010 @ 5:03 pm

  27. Joseph Smith said, “All your losses will be made up to you in the resurrection, provided you continue faithful.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, page 296) Perhaps this applies to the loss of historical buildings, as well.

    Comment by Karen T — July 21, 2010 @ 5:36 pm

  28. In 1973, we entered the Missionary (who knew?) Home on Saturday, had four and a half days of instruction (Saturday afternoon through Wednesday) and left Thursday morning for Laie. We got to fly from a mid-September chill in SLC to a steamy Honolulu–the stewardesses couldn’t imagine what all those young men were doing on the flight, dressed in white shirts and suits and carrying overcoats. (Yeah, they were “stewardesses” in those days.)

    The English-speaking missionaries left the next day, I believe.

    Our Monday schedule was much as Alan LeBaron describes, except that we went through one endowment session, went upstairs to the assembly room for instruction by Pres. Harold B. Lee, and then went downstairs for a second session before being taken over to the COB cafeteria for lunch. The food was unremarkable, but we were hungry after a long morning.

    Comment by Mark B. — July 21, 2010 @ 5:38 pm

  29. I missed your #19, Jonathan, until just now. I’ve never seen that amphitheater before — what in the world would it have been used for, and why build it so fast and tear it down again just as fast? There’s a story there that I’ll have to dig out.

    In the meantime, take two aspirins and … no, that won’t help. Sob freely, throw a stapler or two, and cling to Karen T.’s hope that the Atonement will cover even these losses.

    And yes, you’re right about your recognition of the Smith Building, which was used as the Genealogical Library for a while.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 21, 2010 @ 5:50 pm

  30. Like Wm (3) said, this doesn’t seem to be solely a Utah/Mormon thing. In 1963, the Pennsylvania Railroad demolished Penn Station (which was apparently gorgeous architecture) and replaced it with . . . Madison Square Garden and, in general, one of the ugliest parts of Manhattan (and among the worse subway stations). Apparently, that galvanized the historic preservation groups in New York, and they started landmarking everything.

    I really don’t know much about old (or even new) Utah, but I do agree that the 60s-era buildings that replaced older buildings are pretty horrific. Honestly, the Church sponsored a lot of great architecture in the 19th century; it’s too bad we’ve lost our taste (speaking of the Church as a whole, etc.).

    Comment by Sam B. — July 21, 2010 @ 8:57 pm

  31. Actually, Sam, the arrangements of the subway tracks at 34th Street (on both 7th and 8th Avenues) were not changed when Penn Station was demolished–the odd situation of having the express tracks (up- and downtown) share a platform, preventing easy transfers between local and express trains, existed from before the demolition of Penn Station. But as you rightly lament, the beautiful McKim, Mead and White structure is gone, replaced by the tacky Madison Square Garden (why couldn’t they have left that where it belonged, over on Madison Square??), and what remains of the railroad station (used by Amtrak, New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Railroad) is an underground rabbit warren of dirty, low-ceilinged, crowded passageways. Ugh!

    And you’re also right that that crime against architectural beauty fueled the preservation movement here in New York.

    Sadly, that movement didn’t make it to Coalville before the decade was out.

    Comment by Mark B. — July 22, 2010 @ 8:18 am

  32. Some of this trend was also evident on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My husband and I sometimes wondered what university committee approved the horrible brutalist humanities building. It looks like a Cold War bunker and is an excrescence on the face of humanity — particularly from a university that contains beautiful Bascom Hall, the Memorial Union and a number of other graceful and distinctive buildings.

    Not every example of mid-century or even brutalist architecture is bad; note the striking Geisel (Dr Seuss) Library at UC-San Diego.

    But for the most part the trend toward Cold War bunker-style architecture was unfortunate and misguided.

    Comment by Researcher — July 22, 2010 @ 8:55 am

  33. I came up with a possible timeline for the missionary home (dates are approximate):

    1/25-3/62: 31 N. State
    3/62-8/71: 119 N. Main (Ute Hotel)
    8/71-10/78: 75 E. North Temple (Lafayette School)

    Comment by Justin — July 22, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

  34. Thanks for that, Justin. That’s a good little summary. My father entered the mission home in February 1962 as one of the last groups through that location. I had wondered where the missionaries went thereafter.

    This has been an enlightening discussion. Thanks, everyone.

    Comment by David Y. — July 22, 2010 @ 2:54 pm

  35. I have to say that this has been a pretty neat post and discussion. As to the missionary home, my dad went there on his way to the LTM in Laie and then to Japan in the fall of 1971. He’s always said that it was located north of where the COB is today, so that jives with Justin’s timeline of it being in the old Lafayette school by 8/71.

    On another note, I had never heard of Richard Jackson’s Places of Worship before. I found it online here:

    Fortunately my local library has it too, so I’ll be able to check it out. Anyway, as I was looking through the list of tabernacles, I had no idea there were so many. I’ve been able to find several of them using Google Earth with the street view photos and some of them are just amazing! I’m not sure if the chapel at 1209 South Manhattan Place, Los Angeles, CA 90019 is the Hollywood Tabernacle, but that’s got to be the most beautiful Mormon chapel I’ve ever seen.

    Is the church still tearing down old buildings, or did they finally get the message after the whole Coalville Tabernacle fiasco? Of course they did have plans to bring down the old First Security Building for City Creek…

    Comment by Bill W. — July 22, 2010 @ 3:33 pm

  36. Ardis, wasn’t there a fieldtrip session at an MHA held in Provo a few years ago about the disaster of the Logan Temple remodel galvanizing enough people to save the Manti Temple when it came up for a needed overhaul and remodel?

    From there the lectures (some held on the temple grounds)discussed the steps taken to insure the remodel preserved the temple while replacing or stengthening part which had become worn or no longer up to code? The carpet, for instance, was made on a loom which was much the same as the original manufacture, even to being as narrow a fininshed product. Everything was done with the idea of preserving the history and beauty of the building.

    And of course, the result was much different than Logan. I decided I should never attempt a session there, as my mind would be in such distress I would not be able to focus on the session…

    Comment by Diane Peel — July 22, 2010 @ 5:14 pm

  37. Of course the temple I should never go to a session at was Logan, not Manti…

    Comment by Diane Peel — July 22, 2010 @ 5:22 pm

  38. Thanks for the link to Places of Worship, Bill W. I was having trouble finding a copy.

    Comment by David Y. — July 22, 2010 @ 9:56 pm

  39. Time to do a little (late) self-editing.

    The MHA annual conference that year was in Provo, the pre-conference field trip took us to Manti.

    It was an excellent session. The Logan temple “remodel” was the basis for “doing it right” when it was time for the Manti Temple to be restored. Each step in doing this was done was carefully explained. It was a fascinating session.

    Comment by Diane Peel — July 22, 2010 @ 11:58 pm

  40. and someone will surely pay

    Haha! Oh J. Stapley… When I was still in Provo I wanted to do a photo-documentary project of all the chapels in the area. I never got around to it, and now I cry myself to sleep with history-tears.

    Comment by Tod Robbins — July 23, 2010 @ 2:35 pm

  41. Diane, I remember the discussion of the Manti and Logan temples on the bus ride to Manti and Spring City — three cheers and a deep bow to Florence Jacobson for her role in saving Manti from Logan’s fate. If there was a related session at MHA I must not have heard it.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 23, 2010 @ 2:59 pm

  42. I remember two bus rides, two field trips. It seems the Manti Temple session was a special before the conference trip . You were either meeting with a client, or trying to get there. I discovered Bill MacKinnon one or two rows behind me on the bus, later I walked around the temple with him and his companions. While I don’t remember exactly where you were, I do remember discussing whatever I did know with Bill.

    That was the reason the Logan and the Manti temple were being discussed on the bus the second day. That first field trip was very enlightening, both trips were.

    Comment by Diane Peel — July 24, 2010 @ 7:43 pm

  43. Here’s a picture of the January 1928 “graduating class” of the MissionARY Home on State Street — the buildings match the center section of the Missionary Home photo above. Information with the photo says it is one of the largest groups “since the Home was opened, three years ago” — 1925. That matches perfectly with this detail in Justin’s comment #33.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 26, 2010 @ 2:32 pm

  44. Of course, it matches, Ardis. God goes to Justin when information needs to be found and you aren’t around to ask.

    Comment by Ray — July 26, 2010 @ 2:38 pm

  45. I know that, Ray, I certainly wasn’t scouting up anything to deliberately doublecheck Justin. I just wanted everyone to take note that once again JUSTIN RULZ!!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 26, 2010 @ 2:58 pm

  46. I don’t have very many ties to “old” Salt Lake City; however, I’d just like to add a comment. My sister lives in Riverton, UT. Her ward met in a chapel built during the 1930s. In many ways it reminded us of the chapel in Kansas where we grew up although our chapel was smaller and newer (built in the early 1950s). Recently, my sister’s chapel was demolished and a new run-of-the-mill chapel built in its place. Even though this wasn’t my own chapel, I felt sad that is was bulldozed unceremoniously. I felt this was not only because it reminded me of my old chapel, BUT because there was a little history there that has been forgotten. During the 1930s, because of the Great Depression, the Church built very few chapel. (The Church announced two temples–Idaho Falls and Los Angeles–and could only build one because of the shortage of finances.) As a result, this chapel in Riverton was one of the few chapels built and really reminds us of the struggles the Church had at the time.

    Comment by Steve C. — July 26, 2010 @ 7:35 pm

  47. Hey now. Infallibility is a ways off for all of us, and that certainly includes me. 🙂

    I noticed that the latest post (Improvement Era article by L. Snow) indicates that the missionary home was dedicated in February 1925 and the first missionaries arrived in March, so my date of January 1925 needs adjustment.

    My sources:

    Missionary Home; Training School Will Open Jan. 23,” Deseret News, Jan. 17, 1925.

    Luncheon opens new missionary home,” Deseret News, Apr. 28, 1962.

    In This Issue,” Deseret News, Sept. 25, 1971.

    Salt Lake Missionary Home closes doors,” Deseret News, Oct. 28, 1978.

    Comment by Justin — July 27, 2010 @ 7:42 am

  48. If I recall correctly President Monson spoke at the CHL dedication over the podium that was saved from the demolition of the old sixth seventh ward chapel. Someone thought it was important enough to save at the time.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — July 27, 2010 @ 11:35 am

  49. Justin’s DN link indicates that I was either mistaken or misremembering being in the penultimate group of missionaries at the Salt Lake Missionary Home. Evidently, I was in the antepenultimate group.

    Comment by Left Field — July 30, 2010 @ 5:17 am

  50. The pain of acknowledging a faulty memory must be lessened somewhat by the excuse it gave you to use that wonderful word, Left Field.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 30, 2010 @ 6:26 am

  51. In the interest of historical accuracy, I’d like to add some comments and a correction about Wrecking Ball Blues posted on July 21. The first pictures show the old Sixth Ward building. It was built starting in 1872 and dedicated in 1876 and served the Sixth Ward until that ward was combined with the Seventh to become the Sixth-Seventh in 1922. It was not used by the Sixth-Seventh Ward. It was used by the Mexican Branch until 1942, then was sold to the Gallagher Transfer Company who was using it at least until 1955.

    When the Sixth and Seventh Wards were combined on November 12, 1922, they used the old Seventh Ward building. Construction on that building began in 1862, it was first used in about 1877 and was dedicated in 1885. On the Sunday Morning they were combined, the Sixth Ward members met at their ward building, and led by their Bishop and accompanied by a small band, they all walked up to the Seventh Ward chapel and were met by the Seventh Ward Bishop and congregation who welcomed them in. We don’t do boundary changes that way now!

    The Sixth-Seventh Ward was the ward that President Monson was Bishop of from 1950-1955. I was a member of that ward at that time. My information comes from a published history of the ward which was printed in 1955 under Bishop Monson’s direction as well as talks he has given at Sixth-Seventh Ward reunions since then. The Sixth-Seventh Ward used the building until the ward was dissolved in 1964. At that time this was the oldest chapel still being used in the Salt Lake Valley. This building was located on Fifth South and has been replaced by the Sheraton Hotel. Yes when it was torn down the podium was saved and restored and placed in the old Church History Museum. President Monson was an Apostle by then and may have had some influence in its being saved. It was used at the recent dedication of the new Church History Museum.

    Comment by Maxine C — July 31, 2010 @ 3:47 pm

  52. Thanks, Maxine, that addresses several points in the post and comments.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 31, 2010 @ 6:01 pm

  53. The old Ute Hotel was the Mission Home in 1968 and on into the early 70’s. It was on the west side of North Main Street at about the middle of the block. It was replaced by what was at one time the Lafayette School on the northwest corner of State and North Temple where the the new Church History Library now stands. The MTC in Provo finally took over the job by the 80’s.

    Comment by Doug N. — September 2, 2010 @ 9:33 pm

  54. Does anyone have particulars as to the Salt Lake Missionary Home location that would have been used in Sept of 1949?

    Comment by JulieT — August 24, 2012 @ 9:50 am

  55. That’s the home at 31 North State, JulieT, pictured in the main post as “1. The Mission Home.”

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 24, 2012 @ 9:58 am

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