Discovering Great Mormon Buildings

Utah State Meetinghouse Rendering

“Architectural drawing of the LDS stake building, known colloquially as the ‘Golden Toaster,’ built in 1962.” (Image courtesy Special Collections & Archives, Merrill Library, Utah State University) This rendering was featured as the cover of the dedicatory program.

This meetinghouse, designed by James H McCrea, was built as the U.S.U. Stake Center, containing two chapels to accommodate four University wards, the USU First, Fifth, Seventh and Eighth wards. Groundbreaking occurred on May 2, 1961 and was done by President David O Mckay. The event was shared with a groundbreaking for the Student Living Center on Campus, which would eventually be named in honor of President Mckay. All the speakers referred to how memorable and significant the occasion was. The building would eventually cost $700,000 to build. Dedication took place a year later, on Sunday June 3, 1962 with services under the direction of the Stake Presidency – Reed Bullen, Wendell O Rich, and Leonard J Arrington. Speaking at the event was University President Daryl Chase. President David O Mckay gave the final address and then offered the dedicatory prayer. At the end of the services a Hosannah anthem was sung followed by the singing of ‘The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning.’

This building is scheduled to be given to the University in exchange for another site, after which it will be demolished.

650 N 1200 E
Logan, UT
Built 1962
Architect: James H McCrea
Map Location of Building


4 responses

  1. seshat

    The building would eventually cost $700,000 to build.

    correct me if I’m wrong, but I somehow imagine that for 1962, that wasn’t exactly cheap.

    Is it particularly economical to invest that much money in a building and then tear it down less than 50 years later?

    September 30, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    • 50 years is probably about the lifespan of how we build today. And once 50 years has passed, the investment is classified as a sunk cost and irrelevant to the decision whether to keep the building or not. Especially if the costs to renovate/upkeep/maintain are really high right now.

      October 13, 2011 at 7:37 pm

  2. seshat

    50 years is probably about the lifespan of how we build today.

    i can’t quite wrap my head around this. Fifty years? Really? The house I grew up in was built in the mid 1950s, so it has already passed this 50-year lifespan. The renovations my parents made over the 40+ years they owned it included updating the kitchen and filling in the garage to make an extra bedroom because we had a big Mormon family, but the only non-optional thing we did to it was fix the occasional plumbing problem.

    Or are residential buildings not classed and treated in the same was as public or commercial buildings?

    October 14, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    • Typically, anything longer than 50 years or so will require major upgrades, including mechanical work/hvac, electrical work, seismic, etc. that are very costly. Also, typically the windows and walls aren’t energy efficient at all and need to be updated or replaced. So before these upgrades are made, a longer-term commitment has to be made to the building.

      November 14, 2011 at 6:18 am

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