Discovering Great Mormon Buildings

Ogden 4th Ward Tower Room

This Tower Room is located directly above the main entry of the building and was originally called the Prayer Room. It has chandeliers, extremely plush carpet, a fireplace and lots of paintings. The current use is for firesides, special meetings, and setting people apart for various callings.

2115 Jefferson Ave
Ogden, UT
Built 1930
Click for Map Location of Building

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15 responses

  1. Steve_G

    Either some of the cove lighting has a few lights burned out or somebody really wanted to accent those vents. Personally I’d prefer to see the room without the cove lighting altogether.

    April 6, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    • I cringed at that as well. I think the lighting is burned out in that section. The other side has the cove lighting continuous across the room.

      April 6, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    • I just took a closer look and the cove lighting was not in the original design, but was added later. In fact, the fireplace was not in the original building either.

      April 6, 2011 at 8:19 pm

      • Steve_G

        Do you have access to the original plans? I’m also an architect and would love to see some floorplans of some of these buildings. I do have the Places of Worship book, but its been a few years since i looked through it.

        April 7, 2011 at 9:18 am

      • I have copies of some of the original plans and part of this project is to redraw them in a clean presentation format that is easy to read. So along with photos I will be posting plans, elevations and sections as well as historical information on as many of the buildings as I have time to. Hopefully they will be coming soon.

        April 7, 2011 at 5:59 pm

  2. seshat

    A prayer room. A PRAYER ROOM. One thing that bothers me about LDS chapels is how little praying/meditation goes on in them–OK, there are opening and closing prayers in meetings, but they’re so damn rote. And the chapel itself is not really intended to be a sacred space where people commune with god; it’s a place where they go to be exhorted. I’ve actually been questioned and asked to leave the chapel in the Joseph Smith Building (which is truly beautiful, a wonderful place to sit and think about Deep Questions) because the building’s employees and missionaries couldn’t understand why I would want to sit quietly in a serenely elegant room and ponder life in general and my life in particular.

    It would be a very different church if all meeting houses included prayer rooms. I’m glad one building got one, and will hope that someday someone revives the practice. (Though, as Steve suggests, without the lighting emphasizing the vents.)

    April 6, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    • I agree – it would be nice if either the chapel or another room such as this could be used for this purpose. However, this room, as well as many of the older beautiful chapels are often locked up and hard to obtain entry into. I was fortunate to be allowed into this room by a very kind ward member who got the key from the Bishop when I was visiting.

      April 6, 2011 at 8:08 pm

  3. I’m assuming there used to be an altar in this room? One of our stake centers here in Seattle had an altar in the high council room, can’t remember which one off the top of my head.

    April 6, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    • Very interesting. I have never heard of this before. The original plans have no indication of an altar, although the man who showed me the room said when the building was first built, it served a temple function in this room at various times.

      April 6, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    • Paul S.

      I don’t know when the practice ended, but Stakes used to do prayer circles just like the prayer circles in the Endowment Sessions in the Temples, so many Stake Centers has special “Prayer Rooms” (with altars) in which to hold these prayer meetings. So, if you have a Stake Center built sometime before WWII, it will probably have a special room such as this somewhere in it, that has now been converted to some other use.

      April 15, 2011 at 1:00 am

  4. Wendy

    Interesting to see the fireplace. There is a chapel on 1680 North Geneva Road in Provo that has an upper room with a huge fireplace. We had gospel doctrine there and it was always drafty because of the fireplace.

    Supposedly the front of that chapel contains a brick from the original Nauvoo temple. There is a large white brick seemingly out of place – so it could be true. The whole church has quite an interesting layout, unlike anything else I’ve seen.

    Thought you might also be interested in the balcony/cry-room (that used to be separated with glass) in the Paradise, Utah chapel.

    April 6, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    • Nice – thanks for the heads-up. I’ve got the Paradise chapel on my list to visit, but did not know about the one in Provo.

      April 7, 2011 at 5:57 am

    • Wendy

      I need to clarify that the white brick is on the west side exterior. It is not inside.

      April 11, 2011 at 11:20 pm

  5. Gary Saunders

    My grandfather was the designer and builder of the Ogden 4th Ward. He was also the bishop. Have you been in touch with any of my aunts or uncles?

    December 26, 2011 at 10:18 am

    • I have not, Gary, but would definitely be interested if you are willing to pass along any contact info. Please email me at the address below.

      December 29, 2011 at 9:27 pm

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