The Joseph Smith Memorial Building was originally called the Hotel Utah. It was finished in 1911 and was built to bring a world-class hotel to Salt Lake City. The opulent Beaux Arts hotel was designed by architectural firm Parkinson and Bergstrom. The building was operated as a hotel for more than 75 years, receiving guests from all over the globe—from international leaders, presidents, and scholars to leading figures in the world of art, music, sports, and entertainment.
The Hotel Utah finished its hospitality operations in 1987, and the building was then adapted for other purposes. It reopened in 1993 for office and meeting space operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It also provides space for public event hosting and dining options. A local Latter-day Saint congregation holds its services in the building every Sunday, and guests are welcome to attend.
The lobby features artistic columns, open staircases, and stained-glass windows overhead. Volunteer musicians often play a grand piano in the lobby. At Christmastime, local choirs are also invited to perform. The 10th floor of the building offers an overlook onto the Salt Lake Temple.