About Temple Square
Temple Square is the world headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, commonly known as the Mormons. After being forced to leave Nauvoo, Illinois, members of the Church arrived in Salt Lake Valley in 1847. Brigham Young selected the grounds for the temple promptly on his arrival. From this center, the Church has grown to over 13,000,000 people.
With the growth of the church, has come also the growth of Temple Square and its facilities. One of the first structures used was called the bowery where church meetings were held. Soon a tabernacle was built later known as the Old Tabernacle. In 1867 the Mormon Tabernacle was built, home to the famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Tabernacle Organ. The Salt Lake Temple was finished in 1880 and then the Assembly Hall, a 2,000 seat hall was built where the Old Tabernacle used to be.
In 1917 the Church opened the Administration Building on the block east of Temple Square. This block is also where Brigham Young built his house, known as the Beehive House. In 1972 the 26 story Church Office Building was built and in 1995 the former Hotel Utah was remodeled into additional office space for the Church, now known as the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. This was the last part of the block east of Temple Square to become part of the campus. In 2000 the church bought one block of Main Street separating it from Temple Square and replaced it with underground parking and the new West Church Plaza on the surface.
The block north of temple square used to hold a missionary training center, which was later relocated to Provo, Utah. The church also built a gymnasium, known as Deseret Gym. In 2001, the Church completed a new 21,000 seat Conference Center occupying this entire block. (Note that these blocks are one-tenth of a mile square!)
Part of the block west of Temple Square is also part of the campus, holding a Church History Museum and a Geneology Library.
Temple Square is visited by 5,000,000 people annually, more than the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone National Park. The grounds and the facilities were built and are maintained to the highest standards, and surrounded by beautiful gardens, representing the paradise promised to us in the hereafter.
Two times annually the Church holds its worldwide conference where some 100,000 members attend the 5 sessions held in the Conference Center, while many others, due to inadequate seating, view by television in the tabernacle and other buildings.