“Plans for Hotel Utah Announced,” Ensign, Aug. 1989, 76
Since 1987, when the 76-year-old Hotel Utah ceased operations, many people have asked Church leaders about its future.
The First Presidency recently answered many of those questions when they announced details of extensive renovation and remodeling plans for the historic building in downtown Salt Lake City.
Speaking on behalf of the First Presidency, Bishop Robert D. Hales, Presiding Bishop of the Church, described the extent of those plans. The building will house a chapel and a number of public facilities—including a 500-seat large-screen theater for Temple Square visitors, a family history center with more than one hundred computer stations for genealogical research, facilities for catered receptions and meetings, and a restaurant. Several floors will be converted to Church departmental offices.
Major exterior work has already been completed, including restoring the stained glass in the lobby skylight; restoring and replacing ornamental cornices, brick masonry, and roofing; and placing a new beehive and flagpole atop the building.
After architectural specifications are completed, bids for a general contractor will be let. The construction is expected to take two years and will include replacing all electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and mechanical systems in the building, plus energy conservation measures such as double-glazed windows. Every effort will be made to preserve the building’s historic appearance, even though walls and floors will be strengthened and the structure will be seismically braced in order to meet current city earthquake code requirements.
The project is expected to be completed by the summer of 1992.