Discovering Great Mormon Buildings

Holladay 13th and 20th Ward Chapel Interior

2675 E 4430 S
Salt Lake City, UT
Built 1963
Architect: Jackson and Sharp
Also known as the Pagoda Chapel
Click for Map Location of Building


15 responses

  1. Some times I think a low lit sacrament meeting would be really great, as these photos really bring out the shape of the halls. But then I remember how I get really sleepy even with the florescent light blazing. 😉

    I’m in love with the ceiling arcs.

    April 29, 2011 at 10:00 am

    • One of my favorite things to do in chapels is play around with various combinations of lighting. There are often many variations possible, but for services, the users typically treat it as though there is only an on and off switch with them either all on or all off. I agree that it helps people appreciate the spatial qualities of the space.

      April 30, 2011 at 9:30 am

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  3. My grandpa was bishop at the time this chapel was built. I’ll send this link to my dad and he can tell you his stories.

    April 29, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    • Looking forward to it – thanks Michelle.

      April 30, 2011 at 9:30 am

    • Carolyn Joyce

      My husband, Elder Brent Joyce, was one of the missionaries who helped build it. He was always so proud of it. He died in 2004 but I am happy it continues to serve the Church. Carolyn Joyce

      July 18, 2014 at 6:00 pm

  4. Paul S.

    I think we should lock the current church architects in the this chapel and tell them they can’t come out until they come to understand the importance of light in creating a room conducive to worship.

    April 30, 2011 at 12:09 am

    • I would have to agree with you, Paul. There is a lot to learn from so many of these older buildings. Not only do I love the accent lighting in this building, but there is also a great deal of natural light available in this room. There are the skylights along the top and clerestory windows all along the sides. The clerestories were all covered up with blinds, but it would be great to see the light coming through them. My guess is they are probably always blocked off because of the effort to always be changing them during satellite broadcasts.

      April 30, 2011 at 9:40 am

  5. This is one of my favorite ones as well. It’s just stunning. I think I’d spend the entire meeting each week just staring at the architecture.

    May 2, 2011 at 11:13 pm

  6. Dave Glauser

    The architect for the building was Lynn Pinegar. He lived in the Stake and still does. He is the brother to Rex Pinegar. The Stake President wanted a big unique building because it was visible for miles away as you drive up the main road (4500 South.) It took a lot of convincing at church headquarters to get permission to let them build it.
    I was 7 years old and it was possible for members to volunteer time working on the building. I remember handing ceiling tiles up to men on ladders and doing a lot of sweeping. My Father was Bishop of the 20th ward and was always over volunteering at the church. Brother Pinegar came to my Fathers funeral and told me that when it came time to put the big beams up they needed someone to go up and measure the distance between beam #1 and beam #2. No one volunteered so they made him do it. He said they just tied a rope around his waist and up he went. He was so scared he refused to measure between beam 2 and 3. I have a neighbor that works construction and remodels churches. He told me that this building is still considered one of the more unique buildings in all the church and is left as is when considering remodeling it.

    May 3, 2011 at 2:21 pm

  7. steve

    Never under-estimate the power of natural light in a worship setting. I recently attended a church meeting in a late-1990’s stake center in Utah. There were zero windows in the chapel and it was a miserable experience. The lack of connection to my natural surroundings was disorienting. I am used to my Seattle North Stake Center’s large windows that fill the chapel with daylight.

    It just seems like we should have more connection to the surrounding environment (either through daylight or views) when we are worshiping the Creator.

    This is an absolutely beautiful chapel.

    May 27, 2011 at 12:46 am

    • I completely agree with you, steve – I’ve been in those chapels before as well – there’s a lot of them out there. Even with the current standard plans that have some natural light, the glass is all frosted, so even when there is light coming in, you can’t see out. A connection to nature that you talked about makes a huge difference in creating an effective environment of both learning and worship. And the meetings are more enjoyable and people are happier and more eager to come back and worship there.

      May 31, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    • seshat

      Never underestimate the power of natural light in any setting. I taught high school for a year in a room with no windows. It was a miserable experience–and it lasted most of the day, five days a week. Enough studies demonstrate that lack of natural light can make people listless, unfocused and sad that I don’t know why any organization would stick people in rooms without it and then expect them to think, learn or feel anything uplifting and valuable.

      May 31, 2011 at 6:50 pm

  8. Wow! I love this one. I would really like to attend church there.

    September 19, 2011 at 3:46 am

  9. rd

    I grew up attending church in this building and lived just blocks from there. I had almost forgotteen how great it is. This brought back wonderful memories of missionary farewells, homecomings. Great photos. I miss it.

    September 20, 2011 at 1:01 pm

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