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Hallowed Ground Sacred Journeys

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"A Brighter Day" - Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial
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Council House Site (Gateway Tower)

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Completed in 1850, the Council House was located on the southwest corner of Main Street and South Temple. 
Church councils and the territorial legislature met here. 
Shown as it looked in 1869, the building burned down June 21, 1883.
C. R. Savage courtesy of Richard K. Winters

The nineteen-story gateway tower west is situated on the southwest corner of Main Street and South Temple Street where Salt Lake City’s original Council House once stood. Built in 1849–50 of red sandstone and adobe, the Council House was used for Church and Territorial offices. Church councils and the Territorial Legislature met there, making it the first public building erected in Utah.

A crowd gathers around the burned out Council House. 
Note that C. R. Savage’s photography shop, which was located next to Council House, was also destroyed in the fire.
C. R. Savage courtesy of Richard K. Winters

Latter-day Saint endowment sessions were even held here beginning in 1851 until the Endowment House was completed in 1855. By 1870 it was also the home of the University of Deseret (later University of Utah) and a business called Commercial Bazaar. It was destroyed in the early hours of June 21, 1883, when Hiram B. Clawson’s Wagon Depot caught fire and several barrels of gunpowder blew up. An adjoining building containing the photography business of C. R. Savage also caught fire and destroyed his photography plates and equipment. This spectacular fire likely fueled the creation of Salt Lake City’s first full-time fire department in 1883.

This building stands where the Council House sat until it burned in 1883.
David M. Whitchurch





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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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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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