Former Hotel Utah is renamed Joseph Smith Memorial Building

The First Presidency announced May 14 that the former Hotel Utah in downtown Salt Lake City will be officially renamed the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.

Renovation of the building is nearing completion and it will open this summer as a Church office building. The building also will include such public areas as restaurants; several meeting, banquet and reception rooms; a theater for showing a movie about the Mormon Pioneers' westward trek; and an area known as the FamilySearch Center with computer stations for researching genealogies. There will also be a chapel serving downtown LDS congregations. Two 10th-floor public dining facilities will be known as the Garden Restaurant and the Roof Restaurant."The Utah Building" had originally been planned as the new name of the former hotel, the First Presidency said, but with the recent downtown addition of another office building, One Utah Center, two blocks to the south, it was felt that a different name would avoid any possibility of confusion.

Another consideration in the selection of a name, the Church officials said, was the fact that even though Joseph Smith was the first president of the Church, there are no buildings in the downtown Church headquarters complex memorializing him.

Although the new name for the building has ecclesiastical connotations, the First Presidency said that the Church wishes to focus on the structure's public aspects, in fulfillment of a promise to maintain the building's traditional role in the community.

A public open house is planned for July 3, 6 and 7. Reservations can be made for meeting and conference rooms by phoning (801) 539-8824.

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