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A tour of historic LDS chapels in Salt Lake City

By Peggy Fletcher Stack

The Salt Lake Tribune

Published July 17, 2009 1:00 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2009, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
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YALE WARD

Where » 1431 Gilmer Drive

When built » 1924

Who designed it » Taylor Wooley (a Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice) and Clifford Evans

What is distinctive » Classical portico; chapel with vaulted ceiling and sloping floor; white pews with dark wood trim in colonial style and one of the nicest cultural halls in the LDS Church; stained-glass window of Jesus knocking on the door, based on a famous painting called "Light of the World" by Hulman Hunt in St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

HIGHLAND PARK WARD

Where » 2535 Douglas St.

When built » 1923-24

Who designed it » Hyrum Pope and Harold Burton (who crafted the Alberta Temple a decade earlier)

What is distinctive » Tudor style, with Art Deco touches; paintings by Lee Green Richards of the Sacred Grove and four small scenes of the Holy Land. In the entry hall are two murals by John B. Fairbanks of the pioneers' arrival and their first Utah winter. Richards and Fairbanks, two of the church's leading artists, were influenced by French Impressionism.

SUGAR HOUSE WARD

Where » 1950 S. 1200 East (now Westminster College's LDS Institute of Religion)

When built » 1924

Who designed it » Don Carlos Young and Ramm Hansen.

What is distinctive » Example of a 1920s "standard plan," known as "the Colonel's Twins," because of the matching chapel and cultural hall on either side, entrance in the middle; balcony of dark wood pews; choir seats in front of pulpit; exquisite plaster decorations; three-paneled bas-relief sculpture (by prominent Utah artist Torlief Knaphus) of the Hill Cumorah, the First Vision and the Susquehanna River.

FOREST DALE WARD

Where » 739 E. Ashton Ave.

When built » 1902

Who designed it » Samuel T. Whittaker

What is distinctive » Classical style, one of few with a dome, across the street from Brigham Young's farmhouse, which later was moved to This Is the Place Heritage Park; sunlit dome at center of chapel; sego lilies and beehives in stained glass.

Another note » An earlier architect murdered the ward clerk responsible for paying the construction expenses. Rather than continue a killer's plans, Whitaker had to design a new chapel but on the foundations that already had been poured.

SALT LAKE SECOND WARD

Where » 704 S. 500 East

When built » 1908

Who designed it » Ashton Brothers

What is distinctive » Gothic Revival, with corner tower; First Vision stained-glass window, one of several such decorations including in the Salt Lake Temple's "Holy of Holies," two other Salt Lake City wards and one in Brigham City; Mormon imagery in the place where a biblical story would have been in a Protestant church; a sea gull instead of a dove, representing the Holy Spirit; also a copy of Leonardo's Last Supper, painted by Dan Weggeland, a handcart pioneer immigrant artist.

SALT LAKE 20TH WARD

Where » 107 G St.

When built » 1924

Who designed it » Cannon & Fetzer

What is distinctive » Façade enriched the standard plan with Italian Renaissance palladian doorway, including fluted classical columns; sloped floor; dark wood wainscot; beams with painted decorations; floral art-glass windows added in the late 20th century.

SALT LAKE 27TH WARD

Where » 185 P St.

When built » 1902

Who designed it » John G. Robinson

What is distinctive » Gothic red brick, corner tower across from the Salt Lake City Cemetery; recreation hall added in 1927, with fireplace tile panel of St. George killing a dragon; small harmonious addition installed in the late 20th century to house a pipe organ.

UNIVERSITY WARD

Where » 160 S. University St.

When built » 1924

Who designed it » Pope and Burton

What is distinctive » Built same time as Highland Park, but here Burton tried to do something modern with terra-cotta decoration along the top of the exterior walls, an early example of Art Deco style; Sermon on the Mount tile mural on the outside; long, narrow chapel, modeled after Protestant churches; biblical and LDS scriptures painted on ceiling beams.



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