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Hallowed Ground Sacred Journeys

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"A Brighter Day" - Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial
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LDS Church Office Building and Plaza



The building was dedicated in 1972 and allowed many Church departments to come together under one roof.


David M. Whitchurch

The majestic church office building is Salt Lake City’s tallest structure (twenty-eight floors above ground, three levels below). Built between 1969 and 1972, this office tower houses nearly all the departmental organizations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is flanked at ground level by two four-story wings. Prior to the construction of this edifice, administrative offices of the Church were scattered in buildings throughout the city. Built upon the original sites of Brigham Young’s barn and corrals, this building represents the growth of Salt Lake City as well as the Church from the days of early pioneer settlement.

The map on the Church Office building exterior signals that the Restoration of the gospel and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will spread to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.

Gary G. Memorial

The large relief maps on the outside of the building have been purposely distorted. The latitude runs through Jerusalem on the eastern hemisphere and through Palmyra, New York, on the western hemisphere.

Church Office Building begins to rise above the block east of the temple.

Utah State Historical Society

Of interest to visitors is the broad sixty-six by fifteen-foot mural on the east wall of the main lobby, depicting the ascension of Jesus Christ after His Resurrection. The Church History Library and Archives is located on the east side of the main floor area. Two observation decks on the twenty-sixth floor provide a dramatic panoramic view of Temple Square, Salt Lake City, and the surrounding valley and mountains.

Newlyweds often like to have their pictures taken in front of this fountain.

Kathie and W. Jeffrey Marsh


The surrounding grounds are covered with beautifully landscaped flower gardens, pools, and statues depicting Latter-day Saint life. The central feature of the plaza to the south of the Church Office Building is a huge fountain with water interplaying in a variety of heights, culminating in one large display rising to a height of fifty-two feet. The view from the west end of the fountain, looking towards the Salt Lake Temple, is a favorite site for newlyweds to have wedding photographs taken. All the water used in the Church Office Building and on the grounds comes from four underground wells connected to a pump system.

The plaza provides a place of beauty and peace in the midst of downtown Salt Lake City. It also facilitated easy access between Temple Square to the west (left) and Church offices to the east.

David M. Whitchurch


Several sculptures grace the plaza. All of them were done by well-known LDS artists, including Avard T. Fairbanks (creator of the world-famous Abraham Lincoln statues, the Winter Quarters memorial in Florence, Nebraska, and the monument commemorating the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood on Temple Square); Dennis Smith (sculptor of most of the Relief Society monuments to womanhood in Nauvoo, Illinois); and Florence Peterson Hansen (who did the statues of Joseph and Emma that are also standing in Nauvoo).

Horace Kimball Whitney owned property on the site where the Church Office Building now stands.

Daughters of Utah Pioneers

The west wing of the Church Office Building sits on property where Horace Kimball Whitney and his wife, Helen Mar Kimball, once had a home. The Whitneys were sealed in the Nauvoo Temple just prior to the pioneer exodus. Horace was the son of Newel K. and Elizabeth Ann Whitney, and Helen was the daughter of Heber C. and Vilate Kimball. On June 15, 1850, Horace set type for the first edition of the Deseret News.



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Brigham Young University Religious Education presents
Hallowed Ground Sacred Journeys
Featuring BYU Religious Educators teaching about sites significant in
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
For more information, or to visit our interactive web site with dozens of additional sites to explore,
please visit VirtualTours.BYU.edu
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Hallowed Ground Sacred Journeys
is a co-production of
This blog is a public service of The Watchmen Institute
and is distributed by B.U.M.P. LTD.
All Rights Reserved
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"I have been sharing this information with friends around the world and the response is outstanding. These tours contain information that we could never access on our own and can be shared and treasured forever."
Frank M. McCord
National Chair
BYU Friends of Religious Ed.
Everett, Washington


Brigham Young University Religious Education presents

Hallowed Ground

Sacred Journeys

featuring BYU Religious Educators teaching about sites significant to
The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints.

"A great source for weekly Mormon Church History Videos"
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