Because 1880 was designated as a “Jubilee” year (fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Church), the builders incorporated the star of David in the structure, reminiscent of the Israelite jubilee celebrations in the Old Testament. As was the custom in Old Testament times, debts were forgiven and a great jubilee celebration was held (see Leviticus 25:8–10). In 1980 the Assembly Hall was closed for renovations, and when the doors were reopened in 1983 the building had hardwood flooring, elegant draperies, and a ceiling with gold-leaf designs.
During construction of the Assembly Hall, Charles J. Thomas was appointed as the first official guide on Temple Square. In 1876 he greeted and gave tours to four thousand visitors. Today hundreds of guides take millions of visitors on tours of Temple Square.
The Miracle of the Gulls Monument was designed and executed by Mahonri M. Young, grandson of Brigham Young. His work is in more than fifty museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the rotunda of the National Capitol Building.
-Robert L Hall