Four days after the pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley in July 1847, President Brigham Young selected the site for the Salt Lake Temple. Those four hectares became Temple Square, the hub not only of Salt Lake City but also of the Church.
Today, Temple Square offers millions of visitors much to see and do. Well-tended flower beds, trees, and shrubs create a beautiful setting for the Salt Lake Temple, the Tabernacle, the Assembly Hall, two visitors’ centers, and many Church-related monuments and statues. Visitors may choose a leisurely walk around the Square or learn of Church history and beliefs from the full-time sister missionaries.
The beauty of Temple Square extends westward to encompass the Family History Library and the Museum of Church History and Art. Eastward is the plaza linking the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, the Relief Society Building, the Church Administration Building, the Church Office Building, and Brigham Young’s historic homes, the Lion and Beehive Houses.
In marked contrast to today’s architecture, the first structure built on the Square was the open-sided, brush-roofed bowery that provided assembled Saints shelter from the sun. As the Church population increased, so did the size and the number of the buildings. That continuing growth is reflected in President Gordon B. Hinckley’s April 1996 general conference announcement of a “great hall,” to be constructed on a site immediately north of Temple Square. A “dedicated house of worship,” the hall will accommodate many thousands attending general conference and other appropriate functions.
Since many of our readers have never visited Salt Lake City, we offer you here a photographic tour of Temple Square and related sites.
Temple Square: A Walking Tour
Dimensional map by Gordon Smart; based on electronic rendering by Kerri Nielsen, Church Architectural Services
Family History Library
Museum of Church History and Art
Salt Lake Tabernacle
North Visitors’ Center
South Visitors’ Center
Salt Lake Temple and temple annex
Joseph Smith Memorial Building
Relief Society Building
Church Office Building
Church Administration Building