Discovering Great Mormon Buildings

Building Exteriors

Granite Ward Exterior

The exterior was completed in 1905 allowing use of the building, but the interior was still being worked on in 1913. The building was not paid off until 1938, after which it was dedicated on July 16, 1939. Ward members would joke that the building was as enduring as the Salt Lake Temple since both took 40 years to complete. Originally a red brick building, this Victorian Romanesque Revival building was painted white around 1950. The floor plan is a simple rectangle design with a 1938 rear office addition. In 1965, a new and larger building was completed north of here. The original cornerstone was moved to the new meetinghouse and the Granite Chapel ceased being used as a religious structure. In 1966, sculptor Avard Fairbanks purchased the building for $2000 and used the building as his art studio until his death in 1987. His son now owns the building and uses it to store the works of his father.

9800 S 3100 E
Sandy, UT
Built 1903-05
National Register of Historic Places
Map Location of Building


Salt Lake 10th Ward Exterior

Of the original 19 wards in Salt Lake, the building to the right is the only original chapel remaining in the city, built in 1873. The Gothic revival church to the left was built in 1909. Also on the complex, at the far right is a school built in 1887. All three of these buildings are now connected into a single meetinghouse with the 1909 building serving as the Chapel and the original 1873 building serving as a large classroom or activity hall. This 1873 building used to be the Chapel but was remodeled many years ago into a Cultural Hall that even had a stage at one point. During a remodel in 2000, the building was almost torn down completely. The rumor is that Pres. Hinckley stepped in to save the building. Now, only the front wall and portions of the sides remain from the original building, but the remainder of the exterior was rebuilt as a replica of the original.

ADDED 10 Feb 2012: The steeple on this has always looked a little strange to me; too squatty and out of place. In looking at older photos, there was a taller steeple at the same location of the building in 1911 here, but by 1937 there was no steeple at all here. It appears that there was no steeple all the way until the 2000 remodel, when it was added back. With the steeple appearing to be part of the original design, I definitely appreciate the effort to restore the building, but I think I prefer the look of the building without one.

420 S 800 E
Salt Lake City, UT
Original built 1873
Gothic revival chapel built 1909
Map Location of Building

Randolph Ward Exterior

15 S. Main
Randolph, UT
Built 1898-1914
Architect: John C. Gray
National Register of Historic Places
Map Location of Building

Maywood Ward Chapel Exterior

4407 Randolph St
Maywood, CA
Built 1947-49
Map Location of Building

Maywood Ward Exterior

Dedicated on Easter Sunday of 1949 by Spencer W. Kimball after 24 months of construction.

4407 Randolph St
Maywood, CA
Built 1949
Map Location of Building

Bountiful Tabernacle Exterior

This building is unique in that every President of the Church has spoken from its pulpit except for Joseph Smith. Ground was broken by Lorenzo Snow on Feb 11, 1857, with the first stone being laid the next day. Construction was halted and grain stored in its 6′ deep x 9′ high stone foundation during the Utah War in 1858. Built almost entirely of local material and local labor, the building cost was about $60,000. The tower is capped with a unique 5-spired steeple that was part of the original Greek Revival design. Built of adobe walls and roof timbers fastened with wooden pegs, the building was dedicated on March 14, 1863 by Heber C. Kimball at a meeting presided at by Brigham Young.

The spires were blown off the tower during a wind storm in 1906. Although repairs were attempted several times, the spires would remain off the building until they were finally replaced in 1955. A north wing with amusement hall and classrooms was added in 1925. Installation of a new pipe organ and a complete remodel happened in 1942. And a rear wing was added containing a Relief Society room, kitchen and offices in 1957.

March 14, 1963 featured a Centennial celebration, where Hugh B. Brown rededicated the building for another hundred years. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, the Tabernacle today remains the oldest chapel in continuous use in the state of Utah, if not the entire Church.

National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form
Utah History Encyclopedia
Davis Clipper

55 S. Main
Bountiful, UT
Built 1857-63
Architect: Augustus Farnham
National Register of Historic Places
Map Location of Building

Idaho Falls 4th Ward Exterior

The lot for the building was purchased and paid off by Mar 1932. In Jan 1934, the basement excavation began. Times were hard and much of the labor for the building was done by members of the ward who were asked to raise 40% of the cost of the building. After a great deal of work and donations, a final push was needed to complete the fundraising for the building so it could be dedicated. A Victory Dinner and Dance in the new building was held on Nov 18, 1937 for that purpose. The needed funds were raised and the building was dedicated on Dec 5, 1937 by Pres. Heber J. Grant.

After purchasing the adjoining lot to the east of the Chapel in 1957, a 7000 square foot addition by architect Harold Collard was built in 1958 and dedicated in 1959. The addition included two new bishops offices, a Relief Society room, kitchen, fireside room and classrooms downstairs.

A 1984 remodel included new woodwork, carpet, sound system, choir seats and pews. By 1993 the building was sold to the Salvation Army after 55 years of use when the ward moved into a new standardized meetinghouse built directly adjacent to the Temple, not far from this building. A special farewell meeting and pamphlet was prepared for the occasion, including reminisces by members who had lived in the ward since the construction of the building and helped build it with their own hands.

In 1943 Robert L. Shepherd, who at the time was painting murals for the new Idaho Falls Temple, was commissioned to paint a mural for the front of the chapel. Called the ‘Ten Virgins,’ the painting was in the Chapel until the building was sold in 1993, when it was placed in the Family History Library on Elva Street.

605 North Blvd
Idaho Falls, ID
Built 1934-37; East Wing Addition in 1958-59; Sold 1993
Now Salvation Army
Map Location of Building

Idaho Falls 5th Ward Exterior

395 2nd St
Idaho Falls, ID
Built 1937
Architect: Sundberg and Sundberg
Map Location of Building

Centerville 1st Ward Exterior

160 S 300 E
Centerville, UT
Built 1879
Side wings added 1927
Front portico and steps added 1934
Cultural Hall and Steeple added 1951
Map Location of Building

Blackfoot 1st Ward Exterior

If anyone has info on this building, I would welcome it. Right now I only have the dates of construction from the marker on the front of the building.

187 N Ash
Blackfoot, ID
Built 1928-33
Map Location of Building