Monday, January 11, 2016

Hotel Utah, where I go to church

 I know it's the Joseph Smith Building.  I know it hasn't been the Hotel Utah since 1987, but it's a ghost that doesn't go away.

We walk a block and a half and go up to the mezzanine into what I can only describe as a Mormon Baroque chapel decorated with gold fruit trim. I'm a little awed by the opulence.  Sunday School is in a room with gold framed oil paintings of all the prophets.  And Relief Society is in a room that directly looks out onto the Salt Lake temple. It's a little surreal.

The congregation is made up of mostly old people and then young marrieds and professionals.  These are apartment/condo dwellers. Very nice, friendly people. We are known for being nice. Mostly nice.

It's a little like going to church at the monastery at Melk. The Mormon version, except there are no candles.

The first two rows are saved for Maria Theresa and her entourage.

What I especially like about this photo (1964) is that you can see the old Desert Gym on the right. That's where I learned to swim. I wish I could revisit the Deseret Gym like I get to revisit the Hotel Utah on Sunday mornings.


  1. There is something so right about this non-photoshopped picture, photographed on film.

  2. My daughter learned to swim at Deseret Gym, too. She's 23 now. Her teacher nearly gave up on her strong-willed, 3-year-old self. I had to leave the room so she could be made to get in the water. She still doesn't do anything she doesn't want to do.

  3. My sister-in-law's dad worked at the Church Office building and went to the Deseret Gym several times a week. I have a vague memory of him telling me about t-shirts printed in protest of it closing that said (something like), "Where will we go? What shall we do? What about the children?!" and "SAVE DESERET GYM" on the back.

  4. That used to be my ward! They kick you out when you have children, yunno. (& Also when you move to Maryland.)

  5. There is something intriguing about a perfect old photo of an old building. It just gives me something to think of. I really can’t believe a church was based there. Maybe I am one of the old fashioned people.I love the design of the building.I'd go to that gym every day just look at the building each and every was a good read.

    Danielle Richardson @ The Hoste