Wednesday, June 17, 2009

joseph f smith building



Constructed with the theme of “light and truth,” the modern glass facade of the building’s main entrance contrasts with a cloistered inner courtyard featuring a fountain. The glass-enclosed gallery, a beautiful, light-drenched space, is designed to house a series of exhibits that will expand on the educational experiences offered in the building. (BYU Today, Fall 2005)

Joseph F Smith Building
Brigham Young University Campus-Provo, UT
Architect: FFKR
Size: 280,000 SF, 5 story
Construction Began: 3 Jun 2002
Dedication: 20 Sep 2005


Entry to courtyard


Inner courtyard perimeter

Paid for through private donations, the building will feature 27 classrooms, 401 faculty and administrative offices, a large auditorium, a theater, and a three-level, 265-stall underground parking lot. The new building will contain more than double the square footage of its predecessor on a smaller footprint.

The building is intended to function as a work of art that sends a visual message, says Van C. Gessel, dean of the College of Humanities. "The architectural concept emphasizes light as the source of any kind of knowledge and learning. Education at BYU is very much about the light that comes from the Spirit."

To bring natural light into as many offices and public areas as possible, the architectural firm of FFKR designed the building around a central landscaped courtyard. A massive two-story glass gallery will grace the main entrance on the east, and generous use of glass throughout will permit light to enter much of the facility, including some of the basement. (BYU Today, Summer 2002)



Inner courtyard landscaping and benches


Sun screen shading device on west facade in courtyard


Close-up of sun screen shading device

I was pleasantly surprised by this building and my overall critique is a positive one. All buildings send a visual message, whether intended or not, so what type of message you are sending becomes the goal to think about and explore. I was glad to see the theme of ‘light and truth’ as a design guide for this project.

Unfortunately the theme appears to largely have been a missed opportunity with this building. As an unattached bystander, very little about the building says to me light or truth more than other buildings. I would have liked to see the theme pushed further. There is an inconsistent handling of light control. When speaking about light, the treatment of the south facade should be completely different from that of the north facade, and this building treats them the same.

Also, it’s not just about flooding the building with as much natural light as possible as was mentioned above. What do you do with that light? How do you harness, channel, and distribute that light to the occupants? What do the ‘light features’ teach the occupants of the building about knowledge and education? How could the building itself become an actual symbol of light and truth? Exploring this in built form could inform a spiritual yearning for harnessing, channeling, and utilizing a spiritual light in education.


Gallery spiral stair


Gallery spiral stair

What was done beautifully is applying the program of housing the College of Family, Home, and Social sciences into the design. The LDS Church views the family as sacred and is very protective of the institution of marriage and the family. This building supports that belief. The mostly non-descript exterior of the building acts as a protective wrapper providing an inner courtyard where the real beauty of the building lies. Here, the best design and materials have been used. Here, the beautiful landscaping creates a relaxed, welcome, and soothing environment. The building surrounding on all sides creates a sense of safety and intimacy. This protected enclave for study, discussion, or relaxing is symbolic of the role the College hopes to play relating to the family.

The wrapping and enclosing concept is further reinforced in the beautiful and striking circular gallery stair prominently located as one of the main features of the building. Similar to the courtyard, this feature of the building really draws you in with a desire to experience the space. This links nicely with the College also, where teachings about the family will draw you in and be provided with a protective enclosure, allowing interdisciplinary teachings about the family to come together into one place.

The final example of wrapping and protective enclosure is at a smaller, more intimate scale of a series of six gathering spaces in front of the building, using landscaped circular seating in concrete and vegetation.


Gallery spiral stair


Gallery spiral stair


Gallery spiral stair

Where I get lost in the metaphor at the gallery stair is being drawn from the lower level to the light above, when most of the classrooms and teaching occur at the lower level, not up where the light is. The light is taking you away from where you are learning.

Finally, there are some beautiful details that were fortunately not removed for budgetary considerations, such as the exterior curtain wall extensions and the wood cubicles over some of the interior doors.




One of six gathering spaces in front of the building that reinforces the courtyard and spiral stair concept of wrapping and protective enclosure.

*All images taken by author on 13 Jun 2009


View salt lake architecture in a larger map

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

prairie style in utah


Malcolm A Keyser House 381 East 11th Avenue, Salt Lake City

Did you know that Utah has one of the highest concentrations of Prairie Style buildings outside of the Midwest? Early Utah architects embraced the new designs and executed buildings all over the state. The website, Prairie School Traveler, has compiled an impressive 84 buildings in Utah built in this style. Out of the 39 states and 6 countries listed, Utah places 6th in quantity of prairie-style buildings behind Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and California. Salt Lake City alone has 47 buildings listed, placing it 7th in the country behind Chicago, Oak Park, Minneapolis/St Paul, San Jose, Milwaukee, and Jacksonville. Not that these numbers really matter, but they help illustrate that there are a great number of these beautiful buildings all within a short drive for us to experience and enjoy.

Has there ever been a Prairie-Style Parade of Buildings for SLC? If not, we definitely should do one.


Caithness Apartments (now Caithness Condominiums) 86 B Street, Salt Lake City


Gustave L Becker House 2408 Van Buren Avenue, Ogden
See here for a 1918 photo of house


I am in process of locating each of these 84 buildings and identifying them on the sidebar map. For easy identification, they are shown with green markers.

# on National Register of Historic Places - 6
# Demolished - 9

Known Prairie-style Architects with buildings in Utah:
-Shreve & Madsen
-Pope & Burton
-Ware & Treganza
-Fred W. Hodgson
-Leslie Hodgson
-Eber Piers
-Miles Miller
-Taylor Woolley
-Cannon & Fetzer
-Scott & Welch
-Monson & Price
-Olaf Nielsen?
-J.C. Craig
-Avery Timms

*Photographs above from The Prairie School Traveler, courtesy of Butch Kmet.

Monday, June 15, 2009

architects in slc 1867-1880

Over the 13 year period from 1867-1880, there ranged from one to seven people in the city who called themselves architects.

1867 Salt Lake City Directory
(No specific employment listings. From looking up names from the 1869 architects, the following was found.)
  • Cram, Charles S., Architect, office at old City Hall, residence 7th Ward, southwest corner of 1st West and 5th South
  • Angell, T.O., Carpenter, 14th Ward, rear north side 1st South between East Temple and 1st East
  • Evans, Samuel L., Stone cutter, residence 6th Ward, west side of 4th West between 4th and 5th South

1869 Salt Lake City Business Directory
Architects.
  • Albion, James, 15th Ward 1 South between 4 and 5 West
  • Angell, T.O. 1st Ward
  • Cram, Charles S. 7th Ward 5 South corner 1 West
  • Evans, S. S. 4 West between 4 and 5 South
  • Folsom, W.H. South Temple corner 1 West
  • Paul, William, Garden, corner Locust
  • Walling, Warren, “Sugar House Ward,” County road


1874 Salt Lake City Business Directory
Architects.
  • Angel, Trueman O., office Temple block
  • Harrison, E.L.T., Bellview terrace
  • Manheim, H., 78 East Temple east side
  • Taylor, Obed, Matthiessen’s block, East Temple
Architects and Builders.
  • Folsom, W.H., corner 1 West and South Temple
  • Paul, Wm., Sr., corner of Garden and Locust
  • Paul, Wm., Jr., South Temple between 2 and 3 West


1879-80 Salt Lake City Business Directory
Architects.
  • Angel T O, southwest corner 1 East and 6 South
  • Folsom, W H, southwest corner 1 West and South Temple
  • Harrison, E L T, Belleview Terrace, 19 ward
  • Monheim, Henry, east side East Temple between 1 and 2 South
  • Paul, Wm, corner Garden and Locust
  • Taylor, Obed, over Deseret Bank


(First Architect advertisement in SLC)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

mt olivet cemetery

Cemeteries are beautiful places that offer a great deal of design on a small scale. These sacred spaces also provide an important connection both to the earth and to our past. Mount Olivet Cemetery, adjacent to a large thoroughfare in Salt Lake City, provides a space that is quiet and peaceful, allowing meditation in the middle of a bustling city. Here people are careful how they drive, talk, walk and act.

By far the most exciting and beautiful part of the cemetery are a series of individual family mausoleums; a neighborhood of small well-designed buildings nestled amongst rolling hills with abundant wildlife all around. Both times I visited the site, dozens of deer were present.


Young family mausoleum. Photo taken by author 07 Jun 2009.

These buildings with unknown designers deal with site placement, material selection, style, threshold, entry, security, and window and door openings, including stain glass windows. Many are approaching one hundred years old. In a way they act as precious jewel-box designs from a past era. Each of these family mausoleums were up to the family to design and build as they saw fit.


L to R: Lewis and Bamberger family mausoleums. Photo taken by author 07 Jun 2009.


Skylight in Lewis Family mausoleum. Visible only because glass on front door was broken, allowing a view inside. Photo taken by author 07 Jun 2009.

List of several family mausoleums with guessed dates of construction based on earliest burials within:
Victor Clement d. Apr 1903
Removed and placed in Mrs. Clement's vault on 16 Jul 1906
Constructed approx. 1906

James David Wood d. 17 Jan 1909
Removed and placed in Mrs. J D Wood Vault 02 Mar 1911
Constructed approx. 1911

Agnes Dow Ireland d. 27 Sep 1930
Constructed prior to 1930

Joseph Young d. 20 Mar 1925
Removed and placed in Young vault 14 Jan 1932
Constructed approx. 1932

Ernest Bamberger (married to Eleanor Dooly dau. of John E Dooly) d. 1958
son John Ernest Bamberger bur. 29 May 1944 (entombment)
Bertha Bamberger bur. 14 May 1939
Walter C Lewis bur. 10 Aug 1943 in J E Bamberger vault
Constructed prior to 1939



Ireland family mausoleum built into hillside. Photo taken by author 07 Jun 2009.


Snyder family mausoleum. Photo taken by author 07 Jun 2009.


L to R: Harkness, Ireland, and Bamberger family mausoleums. Photo taken by author 07 Jun 2009.


L to R: Young, Felkner, and Wood family mausoleums. Photo taken by author 07 Jun 2009.


Established by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1874, Mount Olivet was established as a public burial place for all people at a reasonable cost. The entry gate on 500 South was designed by Walter Ware; the English Tudor office residence by Ware and Treganza; the red building to the south by Kletting, the architect of the Utah Capitol. More than 35,000 former citizens rest in the 50 developed acres of the cemetery. The Red Rock area is exclusively for cremains, though cremains can be interred in any plot. Eighty-eight varieties of trees shade paved roads that serve as strolling paths for nearby residents and for family and friends who come to reminisce. (Deseret News 16 Jun 1997)


Cemetery office designed by Ware & Treganza. Photo taken by author 09 Jun 2009.


Red Building designed by Kletting. Photo taken by author 09 Jun 2009.

A colorful past lies buried at Mount Olivet
S.L. Graveyard: Some of the state’s richest and most powerful people are interred at the cemetery.
Mount Olivet Cemetery was founded in 1874, at a time when the territory’s Mormons and non-Mormons clashed daily over questions of commerce, politics, polygamy and statehood. It’s not that non-Mormons couldn’t be buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. They could. But they wanted a place of their own.

So Episcopal Bishop Daniel S. Tuttle, with the help of the commander of Camp (now Fort) Douglas, petitioned Congress for 20 acres of the Army’s land. Mount Olivet was Salt Lake City’s second public burial ground and the only public non-profit cemetery in the United States ever to be created by an act of Congress. Bishop Tuttle named it after an academy he attended as a boy in the East.

The deed to Mount Olivet Cemetery came with some water rights to Red Butte and Emigration creeks, irrigation rights the trustees retain to this day. Those water rights were a source of pride in early times. The trustees of Mount Olivet reveled in the lush beauty of their park, especially because, located high on a hill, the Salt Lake Cemetery burned brown every summer.

Mount Olivet gained more land over the years. Now it has 88 acres. Half are developed; 31,000 people are interred here.

Some of the state’s richest and most powerful people are buried in Mount Olivet. Coleman likes to point out the graves of mining magnates Thomas Kearns and David Keith, the entrepreneur Walker brothers, bankers Russell Lord Tracy and James Collins, Gov. George H. Dern (who was also secretary of war under Franklin Roosevelt) and a number of Salt Lake mayors.

Utah’s Silver Queen, Susanna Bransford Emery, is buried somewhere in Mount Olivet. Coleman says that at the time of her burial there were so many rumors “about the silver dress she was buried in and silver dollars in her coffin” that the exact location of her grave was kept secret. (Deseret News 5 Jun 1991)


Greenhouse at Mt Olivet Cemetery. Photograph dated 1 Oct 1913. From Utah State Historical Society website.


Remains of Greenhouse. Photo taken by author 09 Jun 2009.

Mount Olivet is a public, non-profit cemetery established by an Act of Congress that was signed by President U.S. Grant. The Salt Lake Mount Olivet was designed by three architects and known for its red sandstone and wrought iron-gates, office and barn. (Deseret News 25 May 1994)

Notice the handsome office-residence just within the decorative iron gates at the main entrance. This building replaced an earlier wooden shack that served as the sexton's headquarters. A Mrs. Hall of the congregational Church donated funding for the Tudor design by Ware and Treganza, constructed in 1911. Recently the shielding overgrown pines were removed from the front yard, and the exterior of the building restored to its original color scheme and beauty. Beside it is the spacious dark red brick carriage house, added in 1913. Under its gabled roof the hay vas stored for the horses below, and multiple vehicles of the day. Today, all the horses, 380 of them, are under the hood of the tractor that serves so many functions.

The adjacent greenhouse no longer serves its original purpose. When there was a permanent staff of ten or more, it was possible to maintain extensive flower beds with their own stock from the greenhouse. Now with a reduced staff, down to six, with extras in the busy seasons, the present group is hard pressed to keep up with the chores of the much extended area presently in use.

Some crypts are still in active use (Bamberger and Snyder) but since they take extra funds for maintenance, they are not as popular as they once were. Each structure can house one to thirteen caskets on the shelves within. (Floralie K. Millsaps, August 1988, A TOUR OF MOUNT OLIVET: The Cemetery Comes to Life)


Entry gate designed by Ware & Treganza. Photo taken by author 09 Jun 2009.


Entry gate designed by Ware & Treganza. Photo taken by author 09 Jun 2009.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

forest dale chapel

Forest Dale’s Fine New Assembly Hall
One of the historic places in the Salt Lake Valley was Brigham Young’s “Forest Farm.” Situated close to the foothills, which lie at the base of some of the highest of the mountains of the Wasatch range, the spot was chosen as an ideal location for a farm by President Young, and the good judgment displayed by him in making his selection was on a par with that which made him famous in his other operations in pioneer life.

President Young proceeded to improve the natural advantages of the spot by planting a variety of the choicest fruit and shade trees that could be obtained. To the north of his farm lay the property of the late President John Taylor. On the south his fields were bounded by the homestead of Parley P. Pratt, while to the northwest and along the boulevard by which Forest Dale is reached was the home of President Wilford Woodruff. A portion of each of the farms still belongs to descendants of these worthy Pioneers. Near the center of the farm and approached by a broad avenue of lofty walnut and black locust trees planted on either side in double rows was built a spacious farm house.


Plat map of Church Farm pieced together, colored, and labeled by Jonathan Kland (Plat records 1852-1888, FHL US/CAN Film 1654538)

Of late years the busy man of large cities both in our own country and in foreign lands has found that a suburban home has advantages that more than repay in restfulness to body and mind the time spent in traveling to and from his work in the city. Even in Salt Lake City with its broad and straight streets this feeling prevailed and numbers of young men began to build their homes in the districts close to Salt Lake City. Great momentum was given to this movement by the construction of the electric car line to Forest Dale in 1890. The building of this line was quickly followed by others until now Salt Lake City, particularly to the south and southeast, is surrounded by communities the bread-winners in which spend their days in the capital of our State and their leisure and nights in the cooler and quieter surroundings of their cozy homes. Forest Dale was not organized as a ward until 1896 but in less than five years its population has increased more than 100 per cent.



Forest Dale Chapel designed by Peter Mortensen (Deseret Evening News 13 Apr 1901)

At first the old Farm House which had been tendered as a place for Sunday school and religious worship was large enough to accommodate all in the ward, but recently the Sunday school alone has more than filled the building. Under the energetic management of the bishopric of the ward, headed by Bishop James Jensen, the people unanimously decided to acquire a building lot and to erect a house large enough for all their ward purposes. A lot directly north from the Farm House (on the opposite side of the street) having a south frontage of 165 feet and a depth of 175 feet, with streets also on the east and west sides, was selected and the funds for its purchase subscribed and paid last year. Now the amount necessary to build the fine structure shown with this sketch has been subscribed, practically every person in the ward (including a number who do not belong to the Church) contributing the fund. The exterior of the building speaks for itself and an examination of the interior reveals the fact that in arrangement, convenience and uniqueness the building is unsurpassed. The interests of all, of the speaker, of the choir and of the congregation have been given careful thought with the result that the main assembly hall with a seating capacity of 670, including seats for a choir of 48, and for the subsequent construction of a gallery with a capacity for 250 more, is most admirable.

The building is two stories high, the basement being designed for use as an amusement hall and with class rooms for Sunday school purposes. Each of the other ward organizations is also provided for, including a library room, prayer room and room for the Relief Society. The plans and specifications for the building were furnished by a resident of the ward, Architect Peter Mortensen, and a number of skilled artisans who also reside in the ward in sure at least part of every kind of work, both in erecting and decorating the structure, being done by members of the ward. The dimensions of the building are 50x112 feet, and the height from basement floor to top of center finial is 113 feet. The material used in the walls are red sandstone and red shale brick. The building is to be heated by steam, the boiler room being located in the rear of the building. The windows will be of “maze glass” with opalescent trimmings, and the lighting will be electric. (Deseret News 13 Apr 1901)




Forest Dale Chapel sketch by Richard W Jackson (Fig. 6.12. Richard W Jackson, Places of Worship, page 146)


The architect for the building was selected by competition, a frequent procedure at that time. His name was Peter Mortensen, and he was also a member of the ward. A rendering of a perspective view of his design for the new building was published in the Deseret News, 13 April 1901, and showed a three-spired classical building.

The three spires were all the same size, but the center one was on a higher base which made it appear higher, not unlike the spires on the Salt Lake Temple. Construction commenced, and the building was soon out of the ground. The rock foundation was well done and stood about six feet above grade.


Peter Mortensen (Deseret Evening News 13 Aug 1903)

Mortensen was, like most of the architects of that time, a contractor as well as architect and had a number of commissions in addition to this ward building. He was also indebted to the Pacific Lumber Company for materials used on previous buildings in the amount of $3,800. James R. Hay, secretary and treasurer of the lumber company, also lived in the same ward and was constantly after Mortensen to pay his bill. On 16 December 1901 the two men rode home from town on the streetcar, and during the ride Mortensen invited Hay to come over to his house later that evening, indicating that he had the money at home and would give it to him. Hay made the visit and disappeared. The next day, when Hay could not be located, Mr. James Sharp, father-in-law to Hay, accosted Mortensen at his home and accused him of having killed Hay. Mortensen asked for proof. Sharp responded and said, "The proof to you will be that within twentyfour hours of the time we are speaking, and within a mile of the place where you put your foot, his dead body will be dug up in one of these fields."

The next morning a neighbor noticed a mound of fresh dirt in a neighboring field. Being aware of the local problem, he enlisted others, including Mortensen, to help investigate. The group borrowed a shovel from Mortensen, and exhumed the body of Hay from the field. After due process of law, Mortensen was convicted and executed for the murder, having neither admitted nor denied that he was guilty. The statement made by Sharp was admitted as evidence and, because there was no denial from Mortensen either as the body was exhumed or later, it was accepted (Pacific Reporter, 26, Utah, 312). (Richard W Jackson, Places of Worship, page 146-147)


Scene of Hay's Murder (Deseret News - 18 Dec 1901) Note that Walnut Street is now Lake Street


(From Forest Dale Historic District National Register nomination)

When Charles B. and Barnard J. Stewart were retained as defense counsel by Peter Mortensen, charged with the December 1901 homicide of Pacific Lumber Company employee James R. Hay, they could not know it would become the most celebrated murder trial since the days of John D. Lee and the Mountain Meadow massacre...It was an ordeal complicated by written death threats in July 1902 to the Stewarts if they continued to defend Mortensen: "Your house and home will be blown to atoms in case you make a motion for a new trial." Undaunted, the brothers pursued the case to its resolution. (Hal Schindler, Stewart & Stewart: A Century Of Law, Salt Lake Tribune)


Some Headlines of the Trial
17 Dec 1901 - James R. Hay and $3,800 are Missing – Secretary of the Pacific Lumber Company Drops Completely Out of Sight After Securing Sack of Gold Coin. (Deseret News)
18 Dec 1901 – Jas. R. Hay Murdered and Robbed – Peter Mortensen Placed Under Arrest for the Crime. (Deseret News)
20 Dec 1901 – Developments in Murder Case (Deseret News)
24 Dec 1901 - Confession Now Hourly Expected – Sheriff and Chief of Police Certain that Mortensen is Guilty and that He will Soon Admit it – Now in Solitary Confinement (Deseret News)
26 Dec 1901 – No Confession From Mortensen – Officers Conclude He Cannot Be “Broken Down” and Will Try No More – Arraignment This Afternoon (Deseret News)
28 Dec 1901 – Draining Pond For Missing Gun – Force of Men Set to Work Today by the County Surveyor Under the Direction of Sheriff Naylor. (Deseret News)
30 Dec 1901 – Gun Not Bought By Mortensen – Second Hand Dealer Positively Identifies Him as Not Being the Purchaser (Deseret News)
31 Dec 1901 – Gun-In-Pond Theory Exploded – Draining of Bog Completed, but No Revolver Found – Weapon Recovered by Police Belongs to Mill Creek Youth. (Deseret News)
22 Jan 1902 - Heard Shot at Time of Tragedy (Deseret News)
23 Jan 1902 - Last Witnesses for the State (Deseret News)
12 Jun 1902 - Theory of Defense (Deseret News)
13 Aug 1903 - Life for Life the Penalty. [Good summary of entire trial.] (Deseret Evening News)
20 Nov 1903 - Peter Mortensen Shot to Death for Murder of “Jimmy” Hay (Deseret News)
21 Nov 1903 - Was Buried in Prison Cemetery. Remains of Peter Mortensen Were Placed Beneath the Ground Without Any Ceremony. Those in Charge of the Ogden Graveyard Declined to Accept the Body for Burial (Deseret News)
21 Nov 1903 - Nine Executions in Utah History (Salt Lake Herald)
21 Nov 1903 - How Mortensen Killed J.R. Hay (Salt Lake Herald)
21 Nov 1903 - UTAH MURDERER IS SHOT.; Slayer of James R. Hay at Salt Lake Pays Death Penalty. (New York Times)



James R Hay (Deseret Evening News 18 Dec 1901)


This untimely event upset the progress of the erection of the meetinghouse. Half of the members of the ward "knew" Mortensen was not guilty and the other half "knew" he was. Those for Mortensen wanted the building to go ahead as he had planned. Those against would not contribute another penny toward its erection using his design. The impasse was cleared up by holding another competition to provide a new meetinghouse design to be used on the existing foundation. A design submitted by architect S. T. Whitaker was accepted, and a drawing showing the new design was printed in the Deseret News, 26 April 1902.

The two designs were quite different. The new one had a circular dome over the center of an essentially square chapel. The dome was open to the chapel inside and a row of clerestory windows was placed immediately under the dome. Its singular appearance, because it is one-of-a-kind, has made it a landmark in that part of the city, and the construction of an elevated section of Interstate 15 only a short distance south of it has brought it to the attention of everybody who passes that way. The three exposed elevations are decorated with columned entrances.


New design of Forest Dale Chapel by Samuel T Whitaker (Deseret News 26 Apr 1902)

The interior was Classical in feeling with columns on either side of the rostrum to the north. The grand interior columns were removed in an extensive remodeling and addition on the rear of the building which was done in 1929. Cannon and Fetzer were the architects for the remodeling and the addition, which provided a connecting hallway and additional classrooms between the chapel and the 1913 amusement hall to the north. Some time in the early 1970s the dome was closed over with a ceiling, but the circular trim was retained. The dome was once more opened with a refurbishing of the interior in 1986.

As a boy who spent the first ten years of his life attending church in this building, I remember well the columned rostrum, the fun of lying on one of the front pews during boring parts of the services and watching the passing clouds, and the occasional bird that entered through a broken pane in the clerestory dome. The dome was painted a very soft blue color on the inside. (Richard W Jackson, Places of Worship, page 146-147)


Forest Dale’s New Meeting House
“The above is the beautiful Forest Dale house of worship as it will appear when completed. The design is by Mr. S. T. Whitaker and was adopted out of a number of competitive drawings submitted by the leading architects of the city. The idea is somewhat new for church edifices, but being of the classical order the structure will ever be pleasing to look upon. The site is a magnificent one, commanding a view of the whole valley and surrounded by large boxelders which were planted by President Young near his famous old farm house. The cost will be near the $15,000 mark. The foundation, which is of red cut sandstone, was completed last season and it is the intention of the good people of Forest Dale ward to so far complete the main structure the coming summer as to have the benefit of the fine basement, which will be used for general ward purposes.” (Deseret News 26 Apr 1902)


New Houses of Worship Erected by the Latter-Day Saints
Forest Dale Meetinghouse
Located on the corner of Seventh East street and Ashton avenue, beyond the city limits is the Forest Dale meetinghouse, which was formally opened with special services on Sunday, Dec. 6, 1903. The house, which is built of white brick with white stone trimmings, has a main assembly hall and a basement for amusements, each with a capacity of about 600. Its cost is $20,000. (Deseret News 19 Dec 1903)



New Forest Dale Chapel sketch by Richard W Jackson (Fig. 6.13. Richard W Jackson, Places of Worship, page 147)


Dedicate Their New Meetinghouse
Saints of Forest Dale Now Have Up-to-date Chapel in Which to Worship
Very Impressive Exercises
President Smith Offered the Dedicatory Prayer and Then Delivered an Interesting Discourse

A new meetinghouse in Salt Lake valley was yesterday evening dedicated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is as handsome a ward chapel as exists in this section, and dedicated on the eve of Pioneer day, it held over five times as many worshipers as were numbered in the little band of pioneers who entered the valley through Emigration canyon 58 years ago. Many of those present were descendants of that little band, and among the speakers were those who could tell the story of the half century of growth in Utah, which only those who have lived through it can know.

The meetinghouse is situated at the Cannon corner in Forest Dale, and was completed Friday last, after four years of building. It is in gray brick and stone, with cement approaches, and splendid lawns, already well established. The main auditorium will seat about 550, while the choir seats accommodate about 50 more. This number is about the same as the census shows population for Forest Dale, and last night the house was packed to its capacity, the aisles being filled with chairs and many standing at the rear. Besides the main auditorium the building contains a large basement calculated to afford a home for all ward amusements, and a beautifully furnished vestry on the second floor. The main auditorium is practically built in the simple style that prevails at present. The seats are placed on an inclined floor, with sufficient slope for those seated in the rear to see the stand comfortably. The walls are of cement to a height of six feet, and artistically finished roughened plaster above. A large dome rising from the center of the ceiling affords ample light and ventilation. The only decorations are pictures of prominent members of the ward and the Church which hang on the side and rear walls, the pictures of the First Presidency filling in the wall behind the choir seats.

The Bishops Welcome
Bishop James Jensen presided, and welcomed the people in to their new church. He congratulated them upon the fact that every dollar of the expense had been paid, and that a surplus was on hand with the building committee. He told of incidents in raising the money that indicated the loyalty and faith of the people of the ward and had high praise for those who had given towards the erection of the structure.

The speakers, who were introduced by Bishop Jensen, were President Jos. F. Smith, President John R. Winder, Elders Rudger Clawson and Geo. A. Smith of the council of Apostles, Supt. of Building Theodore Toblason, Treasurer M. C. Morris, Geo. M. Cannon, chairman of the finance committee, B. W. Ashton, Stake President Frank Y. Taylor, and his counselor, Edwin Bennion.

Dedicatory Prayer
The dedicatory prayer was offered by President Jos. F. Smith. The opening prayer was offered by Patriarch Jos. E. Taylor, and benediction was pronounced by Bishop Iverson of the Second ward.

The musical numbers, which were freely interspersed in the program, consisted of an opening anthem, “Rouse Ye Mortals,” by the choir, under the leadership of J. T. Dunbar, a quartet, “Utah, We Love Thee,” by Geo. M. Cannon, Jr., J. T. Dunbar, J. J. Summerhays and Karl Beuhner…

Many of the speakers spoke in praise of the work of the choir which was excellent, and one quoted a special tribute paid to it by Prof. Evan Stephens of the Tabernacle choir. Prof. Stephens was present as a guest of the choir by invitation.
B. W. Summerhays, who had taken an active part in building the house, but who was unavoidably absent in Canada, sent his best wishes in a sentiment which was read by Geo. M. Cannon.

The speeches of the evening dwelt mostly on the history of the struggle for a meetinghouse in Forest Dale from the days they met in a brush covered bowry, to the present, and especially of the plans and finances of the present structure.

President Smith Talks
President Smith recalled the days of his youth spent in the vicinity of the new church, when Forest Dale was known as the Church farm, and when President Young kept the Church cattle there. He told of the growth of Utah since those days, and how it had been participated in both by “Mormon” and Gentile, both classes adding greatly to the state’s upbuilding. The speaking and other features of the program lasted until after 9 o’clock, but the cool evening breeze from the mountains which does not come north to the city, prevented any discomfort, despite the fact that the building was packed. (Deseret News 24 Jul 1905)


Token of Appreciation
Forest Dale Folk Present Elegant Loving Cup to Architect Whitaker
At the Commercial club Saturday afternoon the Forest Dale building committee gave a luncheon in honor of Architect S. T. Whitaker, who made the plans for the ward’s recently erected church edifice. A feature of the luncheon was the presentation to Mr. Whitaker, in behalf of the people of the Dale, of an elegant loving cup as a token of their appreciation of his services. On one side of the cup is an etching of the building itself, very cleverly done, while on the other is the inscription, “Token of appreciation presented to Architect Whitaker by the people of Forest Dale, Aug. 10, 1905.” Mr. Whitaker was taken completely by surprise, but in a few well chosen words thanked the people of the ward for the beautiful gift. The members of the committee present were Bishop James Jenson, M. C. Morris, George M. Cannon and Senator S. L. Love. (Deseret News 21 Aug 1905)


These homes and chapel were recently accepted into the National Register of Historic Places as part of the newly created "Forest Dale Historic District"


Mortensen/Stewart House at 2228 South Lake Street
(From Forest Dale Historic District National Register nomination)



James R. Hay House at 2245 South Lake Street
(From Forest Dale Historic District National Register nomination)



Forest Dale Chapel
(From Forest Dale Historic District National Register nomination)



Additional Details:
-The most notable and socially important building constructed in the district during this period was the Forest Dale LDS Ward and meetinghouse at 739 East Ashton Avenue.
-Mortensen designed the Forest Dale Ward chapel as an ornate, three-spired Victorian Gothic edifice, but was purportedly persuaded by fellow construction foreman Theodore Tobiason to alter the design to have a single, centrally located steeple on the principal fa├žade.
-In 1913, a large ell containing classrooms and offices was added to the north elevation of the building. (From Forest Dale Historic District National Register nomination)



For More on Trial
-'Celebrated Criminal Cases of America' by Thomas Samuel Duke, page 327-332.
-From 'Utah's Lawless Fringe: Stories of True Crime,' The Sensational Murder of James R. Hay and Trial of Peter Mortensen, by Craig L. Foster. See also Utah Historical Quarterly Volume 65, Number 1 (Winter 1997).




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