1977
New Insides for a Grand Old Building
previous next

“New Insides for a Grand Old Building,” Ensign, Nov. 1977, 108–11

New Insides for a Grand Old Building

The heating and air conditioning were often on the blink; the old wiring system was constantly overloading and throwing breakers; the plumbing dated from the turn of the century! It was time to remodel the Church Administration Building.

And so in July 1975, the General Authorities moved into the towering Church Office Building while the workmen remodeled and renovated the decades-old building at 47 East South Temple Street.

Two years later, in September 1977, enough of the building was finished that the First Presidency, the Council of the Twelve, and most of the First Quorum of the Seventy could move in.

The next few pages show both modern improvements and historical details of the Church Administration Building.

recently remodeled Church Administration Building

The recently remodeled Church Administration Building still has the same imposing granite face as always.

recently remodeled Church Administration Building

Just beyond the foyer, wrought-iron doors open onto the atrium, where native Utah marble pillars rise two stories to a carved ceiling. The electric lights give a skylight effect.

recently remodeled Church Administration Building

The Office of President N. Eldon Tanner, First Counselor in the First Presidency, is paneled with walnut. Four clocks on the shelf behind the desk show the time in each of the four time zones in the United States.

recently remodeled Church Administration Building

The delicate hand carving on the wall panels in the First Presidency’s Conference Room was executed on hardwood imported from Russia just before the revolution of 1917.

recently remodeled Church Administration Building

The limestone fireplace in the First Presidency’s Conference Room is topped by one of the many original paintings by early Latter-day Saint artist John Hafen displayed in the building.

recently remodeled Church Administration Building

The bronze wall sconces in the First Presidency’s Conference Room were installed when the building was first constructed.

recently remodeled Church Administration Building

One of the newly remodeled General Authority offices, with a view across the plaza to the Church Office Building. Wood paneling throughout the offices is either walnut or cherry.

recently remodeled Church Administration Building

A full view of the First Presidency’s Conference Room. From meetings with the Council of the Twelve at the long table, the First Presidency can turn to the small table in the foreground in order to meet together as a presidency.

recently remodeled Church Administration Building

A new feature is the lunchroom in the basement of the Church Administration Building, supplied from the Lion House cafeteria.

recently remodeled Church Administration Building

This original stairway leading from the foyer to the second floor is made of Utah marble quarried from Spanish Fork Canyon. The original quarry was exhausted years ago, and the marble is now irreplaceable. Elevators supplement the stairs in this five-story building.

All photographs by Lonnie Lonczyna and Marilyn Erd

Other meetings are held in the large Board Room, still being remodeled at conference time. An auditorium on the third floor has been removed, since the many meeting rooms and the auditorium in the Church Office Building made it unnecessary.