Thomas S. Monson Center Dedicated in Downtown Salt Lake

Contributed By Marianne Holman Prescott, Church News staff writer

  • 25 August 2016

President Thomas S. Monson, second from left, salutes as the University of Utah unveils the newly refurbished Enos A. Wall Mansion that now bears his name in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, August 24, 2016. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, left; Ann M. Dibb, President Monson's daughter, second from right; and President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, right, also attended the event.

Article Highlights

  • The Thomas S. Monson Center, a restored and iconic mansion in downtown Salt Lake City, will house an “embassy” for the University of Utah.

“We are pleased to know that the Thomas S. Monson Center will play host to thousands of guests from all segments of the community and throughout the nation and the world.” —President Henry B. Eyring, First Presidency

Meant to be a “gathering place for people and ideas and a source of enlightenment for the citizens of Utah and the world,” a recently restored and iconic mansion in downtown Salt Lake City will now house an “embassy” for the University of Utah.

Church leaders, along with community members, University of Utah leaders, and media representatives, gathered on the lawn outside the mansion on August 24 for the dedication and naming of the renovated building—the Thomas S. Monson Center.

“We are pleased to know that the Thomas S. Monson Center will play host to thousands of guests from all segments of the community and throughout the nation and the world,” said President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency.

President Monson and both of his counselors in the First Presidency, President Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, attended the official dedication.

President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, speaks as the University of Utah unveils the newly refurbished Enos A. Wall Mansion in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, August 24, 2016. The mansion, now named the Thomas S. Monson Center, will be home to the U's Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. The Church donated the building to the university in 2014, and President Monson is an alumnus of the university. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

Although the Enos A. Wall Mansion has been an important part of the downtown area since the late 1800s, the renovated building—and purpose—has been updated to serve the community for years to come. Nestled between the University of Utah campus, Salt Lake’s downtown businesses, and the headquarters of the Church, the newly renovated building—which used to house the LDS Business College—will house the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. The 25,000-square-foot building will also be a place to host dignitaries, symposiums, wedding receptions, and other community events.

“We view this as the university’s embassy to the state of Utah,” said Jason Perry, University of Utah’s vice president for community relations and director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics.

Speaking on behalf of the First Presidency, President Eyring shared a brief history of the building’s owners and purposes.

“In addition to its iconic architecture, the Wall Mansion is the ideal setting for the community-building events and innovative, dynamic policy ideas that will be generated here,” President Eyring said. “The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is pleased to support the efforts of the University of Utah and, in the process, help preserve one of Salt Lake City’s historic buildings.”

Built in 1881, the building’s original owner, James Sharp, was the former University of Utah chancellor and Salt Lake City mayor. In 1904, Enos Wall—one of Utah’s most influential entrepreneurs of the late 19th and early 20th century, mining magnate, and original developer of the Bingham/Kennecott Copper Mine—purchased the home and contracted architect Richard K. A. Kletting, who was the architect on the Utah State Capitol and Deseret University (which later became the University of Utah), to make changes to the home.

In 1962 the Wall Mansion became home to LDS Business College, where it served students until the college moved to the Triad Center in 2006.

“It is fitting, then, that this place, which already has played a role in essential developments of Utah history and helped shape so many lives for the better, is now poised to contribute to the development of truly extraordinary people and ideas,” President Eyring said. “The First Presidency has every confidence that the University of Utah will utilize this special place for its highest and best purpose on behalf of its students and faculty and the people of Utah, the nation, and the world.”

The building’s name, Thomas S. Monson Center, is an “appropriate” fit, President Eyring said. “The connections shared by the University of Utah and President Monson are many, and they run deep. The U is President Monson’s alma mater, the first college he chose to attend, and throughout his life it has held a place of honor in his heart.”

President Thomas S. Monson, second from left, claps as the University of Utah unveils the newly refurbished Enos A. Wall Mansion that now bears his name in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, August 24, 2016. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, left, and Ann M. Dibb, President Monson's daughter, right, also attended the event. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

President Monson graduated cum laude in 1948 with a degree in business management and later did graduate work and spent time as a faculty member for the College of Business.

“In 2007, the University of Utah recognized President Monson’s services to humanity by bestowing upon him the honorary doctor of business degree,” President Eyring said. “It is fitting that the Thomas S. Monson Center will serve as an embassy to the community and to the world. Just as President Monson has reached out to people from every background and walk of life, this center will draw individuals and organizations from the local and global community to engage their minds and hearts in creating ideas and programs that change lives, communities, and nations for the better.”

President Thomas S. Monson, center, smiles as the University of Utah unveils the newly refurbished Enos A. Wall Mansion in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, August 24, 2016. The mansion, which will now be known as the Thomas S. Monson Center, will be home to the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. The Church donated the building to the U in 2014, and President Monson is an alumnus of the university. President Monson's counselors, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, left, and President Henry B. Eyring, right, also attended the event. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

Other speakers included University of Utah President David W. Pershing, Gail Miller, and Kem C. Gardner. The University of Utah Chamber Choir performed “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” during the event, and President Eyring joined President Pershing for the official unveiling of the name.

President Pershing said it is a great honor to name the building after President Thomas S. Monson, for his “lifetime of service efforts to improve the human condition,” adding that he hopes the building will be a great resource to the community.

(Left to right) President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency; President Thomas S. Monson; Ann M. Dibb, President Monson's daughter; and President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, look over the program as the University of Utah unveils the newly refurbished Enos A. Wall Mansion in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, August 24, 2016. The mansion, renamed the Thomas S. Monson Center, will be home to the U's Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

The University of Utah Chamber Choir sings at the unveiling of the newly refurbished Enos A. Wall Mansion, which is now the Thomas S. Monson Center, in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, August 24, 2016. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

Kem Gardner speaks as the University of Utah unveils the newly refurbished Enos A. Wall Mansion in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, August 24, 2016. The mansion, formerly home of LDS Business College, will now be known as the Thomas S. Monson Center and will be the home of the U's Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

Architect Allen Roberts talks about the newly refurbished Enos A. Wall Mansion in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, August 24, 2016. The mansion, now named the Thomas S. Monson Center, will be home to the University of Utah's Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

Tours are given of the newly refurbished Enos A. Wall Mansion in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, August 24, 2016. The mansion, formerly home of LDS Business College, is now the Thomas S. Monson Center, which will be home to the University of Utah's Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

The University of Utah unveiled the newly refurbished Enos A. Wall Mansion, which will now be known as the Thomas S. Monson Center, on Wednesday, August 24, 2016. The mansion will now be home to the U's Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. The Church donated the building to the U in 2014, and President Monson is an alumnus of the university. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

The University of Utah unveiled the newly refurbished Enos A. Wall Mansion in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, August 24, 2016. The mansion, which will now be known as the Thomas S. Monson Center, will be home to the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. The Church donated the building to the U in 2014, and President Monson is an alumnus of the university. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

Tours are given of the newly refurbished Enos A. Wall Mansion in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, August 24, 2016. The mansion, which will now be known as the Thomas S. Monson Center, will be home to the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. The Church donated the building to the U in 2014, and President Monson is an alumnus of the university. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

Tours are given of the newly refurbished Enos A. Wall Mansion in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, August 24, 2016. The mansion, which will now be known as the Thomas S. Monson Center, will be home to the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. The Church donated the building to the U in 2014, and President Monson is an alumnus of the university. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

The University of Utah unveiled the newly refurbished Enos A. Wall Mansion in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, August 24, 2016. The mansion, formerly occupied by LDS Business College, will now be known as the Thomas S. Monson Center, home to the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. The Church donated the building to the U in 2014, and President Monson is an alumnus of the university. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

President Thomas S. Monson walks with his daughter, Ann M. Dibb, and counselors President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, back left, and President Henry B. Eyring, back right, after the University of Utah unveiled the Thomas S. Monson Center. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.