Wednesday, July 7, 2010

salt lake 5th ward chapel

As we approach the 100-year anniversary from the laying of the cornerstone of the Salt Lake 5th Ward Meetinghouse this September 2nd, a fantastically diverse list emerges from its unique history: LDS chapel, flood shelter, photo studio, architect and real estate offices, home residence and rentals, escort services, goth/industrial night clubs, Tibetan Buddhist temple and school of movement. Tracking the history of this building provides insight into how buildings are able to evolve and transform over time if given the opportunity. I will preface the history of the building with a brief background on the Fifth Ward and the events leading up to the building of the Chapel. The bulk of the article will then show the timeline of the building throughout its history.

Fifth Ward is separated from the Sixth Ward on the north by 6th South Street, from the Fourth Ward on the east by 2nd West Street, bounded on the south by the limits of the city - Roper Street - on the west by the river Jordan. (Note that the West streets were renumbered in 1973 and are 100 more today than they previously were; i.e. 2nd West is now 3rd West, etc.) It comprises the south-west part of Salt Lake City, and had 340 inhabitants in 1880. Nearly the whole population are Latter-day Saints. The only public building in the Ward is the meetinghouse, a neat one story adobe structure, 50x30 feet, which is also used for school and other purposes. It is situated on the corner of 3rd West and 7th South Streets. (The Historical Record, Volume VI, Dec 1887, Nos. 9-12, ed. Andrew Jenson, p 311-312, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1889.)

1900 5th Ward Map - redrawn by author of post (LDS Church History Library. LR 2850 2 Fifth Ward Manuscript History and Historical Reports 1849-1964 Filming 1.)

History of the SLC Fifth Ward compiled by Andrew Jenson
The Fifth Ward was organized on 22 Feb 1849. In 1855 a small adobe meeting and school-house was built in the Fifth ward. After its erection, it was used for all public gatherings.

In July 1860 Elder Winter resigned his position as Bishop of the Fifth Ward, after which the Saints constituting the membership of the ward were attached to the neighboring ward on the north, the Sixth Ward, and remained thus for about seventeen years.

In 1869 the building fell down.

At a meeting held June 12, 1877 in the 6th Ward meetinghouse, at which Pres. Brigham Young and Daniel H. Wells, Apostles John Taylor and George Q. Cannon, the Stake Presidency and other authorities were present, the Fifth Ward was reorganized.

When the ward was reorganized in 1877, there was no meetinghouse for the saints to gather in; consequently the public meetings and other gatherings were held in Morris and Evans' Brick yard located on the block lying immediately south of the present meeting-house; but as soon as the ward was organized, steps were taken to build a meeting-house which was done the same year. It was so far completed that the house was opened Sunday Nov. 18, 1877.
(LDS Church History Library. LR 2850 2 Fifth Ward Manuscript History and Historical Reports 1849-1964 Filming 1.)

29 Apr 1910 - The Old Fifth Ward Meetinghouse now used as the Amusement Hall, will soon be a thing of the past. The corner on which it stands has recently changed hands and the structure in the near future will be torn down. Before this takes place the bishopric desire to hold a Ward Reunion and have decided upon Friday evening, April twenty-ninth. They request your attendance and that of your family over sixteen years of age. Program, Dancing, Banquet. Eight o'clock sharp. -From reproduction of the invitations sent to the members of the Fifth Ward when this second Chapel was to be torn down. (Fifth Ward, A Century of Spiritual Guidance, 1853-1953. Salt Lake City, 1953. See also Salt Lake Herald, 28 Apr 1910, Final Reunion in the Old Fifth Ward Hall)

The place where the Fifth Ward meetinghouse was located on Third West street near the railway track became unsatisfactory on account of the disturbances caused by the passing of trains, hence, on Sept. 2, 1910, the cornerstone for a new chapel was laid on the west side of Second West street between Seventh and Eighth South streets. Work was pushed forward on this building, and in 1911 it was finished, so that it could be opened for worship. This is a modern brick building well lighted by electricity and commodious. The auditorium in the main story has a seating capacity of about 300, and there are 8 class rooms in the basement for the convenience of Sunday School work. (LDS Church History Library. LR 2850 2 Fifth Ward Manuscript History and Historical Reports 1849-1964 Filming 1.)

New Fifth Ward Chapel
The Fifth ward L.D.S. chapel, which is situated on Second West between Seventh and Eighth South streets, is now in the course of construction. When it is completed it will cost about $15,000. It is being built of red brick with white stone facings, and will be beautifully decorated and furnished. The foundation is already in and the brick work will probably begin next week.

Cannon and Fetzer are the architects and it is considered one of the best plans for a ward chapel that have been accepted so far. In the basement there will be a large amusement hall for social affairs and ward entertainments. It will contain a stage, and a kitchen is also attached for banquet purposes. The Relief society's room will also be in the basement. In the rear of the basement the boiler rooms will be located.

The main floor will be occupied by the chapel. The Sunday school rooms will be located on the second and third floors, at the rear of the chapel. (Deseret Evening News, 16 Jul 1910)

Photo courtesy of LDS Church archives. (Citation needed)

Fifth Ward Chapel Corner Stone Laid
The corner stone of the Fifth ward meetinghouse, now being erected on Second West between Seventh and Eighth South streets, was laid Sunday afternoon with appropriate ceremony. The Saints of the ward adjourned from fast meeting to the site of the new chapel, and after selections by the ward choir, under the leadership of Thomas Brimley, prayer was offered by Elder Charles H. Hyde. Counselor Jesse R. Pettit then read a sketch of the ward from the time of its first settlement in the early fifties until the present day, showing the development of that section and the officers of the ward and ward organizations during a period of sixty years.

The new chapel is being built at a cost of approximately $20,000 and when completed will be one of the finest in the city. It is sufficiently commodious to provide ample room for all the ward organizations and will be ready for occupancy about Nov. 15. The building committee is composed the bishopric and Elder George E. Burbidge of the high council, and much credit is due them for the energy displayed in pushing the the erection of the new building. (Deseret Evening News, 03 Oct 1910)

Sunday School Picture - taken about 1917. (Fifth Ward, A Century of Spiritual Guidance, 1853-1953. Salt Lake City, 1953)

April 29, 1933, a social reunion was held in the Ward Chapel, commemorating the 80th anniversary of the organization of the Fifth Ward. The occasion was the completion of a thorough renovation of the Ward Chapel and Amusement Hall. All former members of the Ward were invited to attend and many former Bishops, counselors and active members took part on the program. A museum was conducted and all old relics in the Ward were on display. There were approximately 400 persons in attendance. Dancing was enjoyed in the evening in the Amusement Hall. (Stake reports of June 30, 1933) (LDS Church History Library. LR 2850 2 Fifth Ward Manuscript History and Historical Reports 1849-1964 Filming 2.)

During the past few months the Meeting House grounds have been improved with lawn, trees and graveled walks. (Stake reports of Sept. 30, 1933) (LDS Church History Library. LR 2850 2 Fifth Ward Manuscript History and Historical Reports 1849-1964 Filming 2.)

Wednesday Evening May 6, 1936 Minutes of Special Priesthood Meeting held in the Fifth Ward Chapel at 8 p.m. Opening song "How Firm a Foundation." Bishop Jesse M. Drury brought before the Priesthood the condition of the Chapel. The estimated cost of renovation being $1500.00 to bring the Building in A-1 condition. Submitted a plan of rebuilding the front of Chapel which would include several class rooms and entrance under cover. Showed the various plans and rooms that would be constructed. The new plan of construction would automatically reinforce the structure of the Chapel. Discussion by Bretheren as to advantages and disadvantages. Former Bishop Carl A. Carlquist moved that the Bishopric be in charge of the Building plans, seconded by Elder Frank H. Ford. Priesthood assembled voted unanimous. Estimated cost of construction $7500.00. Bishop Jesse M. Drury also announced the Church make work plan. Closing song "Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow." (LDS Church History Library. General Minutes Fifth Ward (1849-1964), LR 2850 11 Reel #3, v. 9 p. 361-362)

March 4, 1937, a special meeting was called by the Bishopric to organize committees for the tearing down of the front of the Ward Chapel prior to remodeling. The work of remodeling the Chapel was begun, March 11, 1937. (LDS Church History Library. LR 2850 2 Fifth Ward Manuscript History and Historical Reports 1849-1964 Filming 2.)

Thursday Evening March 4, 1937 Minutes of Special Meeting called in regard to renovating the Fifth Ward Chapel. Meeting held in Northwest class room at 7:30 p.m. Brought before those assembled the plans as obeyed by the General Authorities of renovating the Meeting House. A general discussion of the plans as per blue prints was taken up. The following committees were formed. Finance Committee...Labor Committee...Construction Committee. (LDS Church History Library. General Minutes Fifth Ward (1849-1964), LR 2850 11 Reel #3, v. 10 p. 44)

In 1937, the entire front of the Chapel was town down and four classrooms, a Bishop's office, and new boiler and heating plant installed at a cost of $22,500. In the picture Bishop Drury is giving a report. (Fifth Ward, A Century of Spiritual Guidance, 1853-1953. Salt Lake City, 1953)

Sunday evening May 16, 1937 Minutes of Laying of Corner Stone held at 5:25 p.m. Bishop Jesse M. Drury Sr. presiding and conducted exercises. Stake President Harold B. Lee in attendance. Opening song "Come, Come Ye Saints" Elder Donald Wardle conducted singing. Invocation Bishop Carl A. Carlquist. Stake President Harold B. Lee inspected building and papers going in the Corner Stone...Elder William R. Kone spoke as to the re-construction of Chapel. 2nd Counselor Albert Leo Vom Feld spoke as to loyal support of those who had contributed their labor so freely. Stake President Harold B. Lee spoke of building good and beautiful buildings for Sacrament Meetings, also of history of old members and their building buildings in which to meet and hold their meetings. Asked the Lord's blessings on the Saints of the Fifth Ward. (LDS Church History Library. General Minutes Fifth Ward (1849-1964), LR 2850 11 Reel #3, v. 10 p. 59)

Elder Harold B. Lee of the Council of the Twelve, is addressing those assembled. At that time he was the Stake President. (Fifth Ward, A Century of Spiritual Guidance, 1853-1953. Salt Lake City, 1953)

Sunday Evening Nov. 21, 1937 6:30 p.m. Dedicatorial Services Sacrament Meeting. (Bishopric also being released.) Bishop Jesse M. Drury spoke of his affections for the people of the Fifth Ward. Gave a detail of building in its construction. Told of his appreciation in being the Bishop. Pres. Harold B. Lee spoke of his approval in the selection of the new Bishopric. Apostle John A. Widstoe spoke of his appreciation in being a Latter Day Saint. The beauty of the building in its completeness. A House like the Fifth Ward is a monument to God. Apostle John A. Widstoe dedicated the Building to the Lord for His work and his servants teach therein. Bishop Jesse M. Drury asked the Lord's blessings on all who worked on Chapel and their liberal contributions. Closing song - choir - "Lord this House We Dedicate." (LDS Church History Library. General Minutes Fifth Ward (1849-1964), LR 2850 11 Reel #3, v. 10 p. 98)

"Bishop Drury served from April 1930 to July 1937 - through the heart of the Depression - and found more than half the membership of his ward unemployed in the spring of 1932. After prayerful consideration, he directed the initiation of a 14-acre welfare garden project at 300 West and 1300 South. The project put to work many unemployed in the ward and provided a bounteous crop to help feed needy families." (LDS Church News, Spirit prompted leaders to meet needs, 26 May 1990)

"I would like to suggest that every one of us could learn from the example of Jesse Drury," said President Thomas S. Monson. "He was a pioneer. He organized the first welfare farm next to the Fifth Ward chapel. He was a pioneer in showing what could be done through a mighty will and determined effort." ('A center where visitors learn of welfare', The Deseret News, 15 Dec 1990)

Fifth Ward Conference program Sunday Dec. 8, 1940 6:30 p.m.
The first chapel was an adobe building on 7th So. and 3rd West which fell down before the ward was reorganized. A temporary building was used until a new building was constructed, at which all participated, the men at building and the women bringing them food. In 1910 a better building being desirable, a lot was purchased and the present chapel erected. In 1937 this desire for betterment again manifested itself and the chapel was greatly improved. Handicapped by location and low income, the people of this Ward have been uniting in their efforts for a place of worship of which they could feel proud and where they could enjoy a spiritual association in the service of their God. (LDS Church History Library. LR 2850 2 Fifth Ward Manuscript History and Historical Reports 1849-1964 Filming 2.)

Oct 10, 1943, the Sacrament meeting was for the dedication of the newly installed pipe organ. Elder Harold B. Lee of the Council of Twelve Apostles was present and pronounced the dedicatorial prayer on the organ. (LDS Church History Library. LR 2850 2 Fifth Ward Manuscript History and Historical Reports 1849-1964 Filming 2.)

This picture was taken a number of years ago. It is an Aaronic Priesthood group with their leaders. (Fifth Ward, A Century of Spiritual Guidance, 1853-1953. Salt Lake City, 1953)

Sept. 18, 1948. The ward chapel floor was carpeted. This added much to the appearance of the chapel. (LDS Church History Library. LR 2850 2 Fifth Ward Manuscript History and Historical Reports 1849-1964 Filming 2.)

Original Ward to Celebrate Anniversary
The Fifth Ward, one of the original 19 wards created in Salt Lake City a century ago, will note its hundredth anniversary in special ceremonies Sunday, March 20. A special program on March 20 will pay honor to the seven who have presided over the ward as bishops during the 100-year period. (Deseret News, 16 Mar 1949)

Apr. 14-30 1952. The ward was seriously afflicted by flood waters which resulted from rains which fell during this period. (LDS Church History Library. LR 2850 2 Fifth Ward Manuscript History and Historical Reports 1849-1964 Filming 2.) According to the front page of the Deseret News on May 2, 1952, this flooding swamped 600 acres and left 2200 homeless in Salt Lake City.

1952 Flood. Second West - note meetinghouse on left. (Fifth Ward, A Century of Spiritual Guidance, 1853-1953. Salt Lake City, 1953)

1952 Flood. Fourth West - Gunn home on left completely destroyed. Fischer home on the right. (Fifth Ward, A Century of Spiritual Guidance, 1853-1953. Salt Lake City, 1953)

Church Welfare Provides Aid For Homeless Flood Victims: More Housing Needed As Homes Are Vacated
An appeal for help in housing evacuated flood victims was voiced Thursday as additional families were rescued from flood waters. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints welfare workers helped 45 families out of flooded homes in the Temple View Stake Wednesday night. Carried out by rubber boats or in some cases by piggy-back were 20 families in the Fifth Ward, 12 in Arbor Ward, 10 in Thirtieth Ward, and three in Jefferson Ward. Eight of the Fifth Ward families were temporarily placed in the ward recreation hall. Three of them later were placed in homes. (Deseret News, Thursday, May 1, 1952)

Cheerful Despite Adversity - Ellie and Larry Gunn, children of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Gunn, 990 South Fourth West St., pose cheerfully on some of the furniture piled in the basement of the Fifth Ward chapel, 740 South Second West St. The Gunns were forced from their home when the water got four feet deep. (Deseret News, Thursday, May 1, 1952)

Dinner for Everybody - Gathered around the stove in the kitchen of the Fifth Ward chapel are members of five flood-stricken families forced from their homes by rising waters. Standing counter-clockwise around the stove are Martha DeVries, Mrs. Mickey Fingerle, Mrs. Thomas Gunn and her son, Billy, Mrs. Cornelius DeLight and her two children, and Mrs. William D. Edwards. The women are stirring a pot in which "We are going to make stew for all five families for supper." (Deseret News, Thursday, May 1, 1952)

Five Evacuated Families Live in Meetinghouse
Cheerful despite being forced from their homes by rising flood waters, five Salt Lake families are living together in the Fifth Ward meetinghouse of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 740 South Second West St.

The families were evacuated to the meetinghouse when the water in their homes forced them to seek shelter elsewhere.

Mrs. Thomas Gunn of 990 South Fourth West St., her husband and three children moved into the chapel Wednesday. "The water is four feet deep at our house," Mrs. Gunn said...smiling and cheerful, despite her loss.

Mrs. Cornelius DeLigt, Dutch convert to the Church, comforted her small baby, Thelma, and her little boy, Correy. Martha DeVries, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Auke DeVries, said the water was "up to here," as she held her hand just above her waist. She said her parents and her sister had been forced from the home when the water "just got too deep." The DeVries also are Dutch converts.

Mrs. William D. Edwards of 1035 Brooklyn Ave. said, "We had to leave when the water came over the sandbags. They were piled five high. We had started the spring cleaning, too," she said. "We had finished two rooms...but I guess we'll have to start all over again."

Beds have been put up throughout the building. Furniture saved from the flood was piled high in the basement amusement hall. Food for all the members of the five families is prepared in the church kitchen. (The Deseret News, 01 May 1952)

May 24, 1952. The ward held its welfare banquet in the stake recreational hall at the 6-7th Ward chapel on this date to raise funds to pay the annual welfare assessment. The banquet was not held in the ward because families that were affected by the flood were still living in the classrooms and their furniture was stored in the amusement hall. (LDS Church History Library. LR 2850 2 Fifth Ward Manuscript History and Historical Reports 1849-1964 Filming 2.)

Sacrament Meeting held Sunday, March 29, 1953 (Fifth Ward, A Century of Spiritual Guidance, 1853-1953. Salt Lake City, 1953)

Sep. 18, 1955. Pres. Thomas S. Monson, of the stake presidency was the speaker at the sacrament meeting. (LDS Church History Library. LR 2850 2 Fifth Ward Manuscript History and Historical Reports 1849-1964 Filming 2.)

1957 - Mexican branch also meeting here. (LDS Church History Library. LR 2850 2 Fifth Ward Manuscript History and Historical Reports 1849-1964 Filming 2.)

May 23 & 24, 1958. The driveway, next to the ward building, was leveled and reasphalted. (LDS Church History Library. LR 2850 2 Fifth Ward Manuscript History and Historical Reports 1849-1964 Filming 2.)

June 6, 1958. With the leveling of the driveway it was necessary to place a wrought iron hand rail along the sidewalk. This will protect persons from stepping off the high sidewalk into the low driveway and force them to use the steps instead of cutting across the driveway. (LDS Church History Library. LR 2850 2 Fifth Ward Manuscript History and Historical Reports 1849-1964 Filming 2.)

Jan.17, 1960. Six earphones were installed on the seats on the south side of the Chapel for the use of the hard of hearing members. (LDS Church History Library. LR 2850 2 Fifth Ward Manuscript History and Historical Reports 1849-1964 Filming 2.)

Sep. 16, 1961. The middle beam on the south side of the Chapel dropped about 6 inches three weeks ago. Work was done today to repair it. Sister Marion Conrad served lunch to those who did the repairs. The past week the back stairs and one hall were carpeted along with the High Priest's room. (LDS Church History Library. LR 2850 2 Fifth Ward Manuscript History and Historical Reports 1849-1964 Filming 2.)

Oct. 25, 1964. Liahona Branch name changed to 5th Ward in Temple View Stake. Concluding Priesthood Meeting and Sunday School were held. - Bringing to a close the activities of the original 5th Ward, transferring from the dominant Ephraim leadership and membership of the Ward of Pioneer days, to the descendants of Joseph in the physical organization of the (Lamanite) Liahona Branch. (LDS Church History Library. LR 2850 2 Fifth Ward Manuscript History and Historical Reports 1849-1964 Filming 2.)

Oct. 28, 1964. In the Jefferson Ward at a special meeting Elder Spencer W. Kimball of the Council of the Twelve affected the transfer. (LDS Church History Library. LR 2850 2 Fifth Ward Manuscript History and Historical Reports 1849-1964 Filming 2.)

Feb. 13, 1966. Installation of Glass Doors from the former 14th Ward. Also Benches from the 6-7th Ward has transformed the Ward into a "new look." (LDS Church History Library. LR 2850 2 Fifth Ward Manuscript History and Historical Reports 1849-1964 Filming 2.)

Apr. 16, 1966. The laying of the carpet in the chapel and the classrooms was completed. The carpet from the former 14th and 6-7th Ward's were used. Except the carpeting on the stand and the Choir which was replaced with new. (LDS Church History Library. LR 2850 2 Fifth Ward Manuscript History and Historical Reports 1849-1964 Filming 2.)

Dec. 18, 1966. The Ward was visited by Elder Spencer W. Kimball, who had no conference assignment, and desired to come and visit the Ward. He spoke and explained the growth of the Indian Program especially the Placement Program, and the Indian Seminaries. (LDS Church History Library. LR 2850 2 Fifth Ward Manuscript History and Historical Reports 1849-1964 Filming 2.)

City Directory listings for 740 South 300 West
1972 - Fifth Ward Meetinghouse (LDS) - 740 S 200 W
1973 - Fifth Ward Meetinghouse (LDS) - 740 S 300 W
1974 - Fifth Ward Meetinghouse (LDS)
1975 - Vacant
1976 - Vacant
1977 - Vacant
1978 - Brantley Photography
1979 - Brantley Photography, Tios Corp (archt)
1981 - Brantley Photography, Tios Corp (archt)
1982 - Brantley Photography
1983 - Vacant
1985 - Vacant
1987 - Bodylight Center, Black Rip Photography, Cowen Nona Designs, Shar Real Estate & Invest, Graphics Services, Evertsen & Assoc, SLC Meditation Group
1989-90 - Black Rip Photography, Shar Real Estate & Invest, Great Salt Lake Nannies Inc
1993 - Black Rip Photography, Shar Real Estate & Invest, Club Starzz
1996 - Absolute Beauties, Ace Escort, Atrium, Black Rip Photography, Ginger's, Shar Real Estate & Invest
1997 - Absolute Beauties, Ace Escort, Atrium, Black Rip Photography, Shar Real Estate & Invest
1998 - Shar Realty, homeowner and several renters
1999 - Club Fusion, Atrium, Ginger's Escorts, Black Rip Photography, Shar Realty, homeowner and several renters
2000 - Club Fusion, Ginger's Escorts
2001 - Club Fusion, Club Vesuvius
2004 - Sanctuary
2005 - Red Lotus School, Urgyen Samten Ling

Photo by T. Hanchett, Sept. 1978. Negative at Ut. St. Hist. Society. View of front and south side looking from southeast to northwest. (National Register of Historic Places Nomination form)

On 8 Dec 1978 the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The owner of the property listed was K. Shirzad and M.A. Shaum with the building listed in 'good' condition. The nomination form was prepared by John S. H. Smith from the Utah State Historical Society. This most likely played a role in helping to preserve the Chapel, especially since the building had been vacant for the three years prior. Below is the text from the Nomination form.

The church is designed in the Tudor Gothic style, with Tudor window bays distinguished with corbeled arches, and the gable facades are decorated with bands of white brick alternating with bands of red. There are concrete-capped buttresses at the corners of the building, as well as between the window bays, and the deeply recessed windows feature thick mullions and splayed casings. Overall, the church is a two-story T-shaped plan with shallow, pitched gable roofs. A front addition, completed in 1937 in the same Tudor style, somewhat obscured the dramatic symbolism of the large Tudor Gothic window above the main entrance. Although retained, its visual impact was diminished. The chapel interior could hold 300 people.

In the settlement and development of the Great Basin area, the peculiar efficiency of the Mormon Church organization (likened by Samuel Clemens to the Prussian Army) was responsible for the creation of stable carraunities both in outlying settlement areas and in Salt Lake City itself. The basic ecclesiastical unit that made directed economic activity and effective social institutions possible was the "Ward."

With an appointed Bishop at its head, the Ward functioned as an extended family offering encouragement and assistance to its members as they struggled to establish families, businesses and farms, in the arid wilderness. The significance of the Fifth Ward is that it symbolizes this vital institution.

The Fifth Ward in Salt Lake City is one of the oldest of these ecclesiastical units in the Mormon Church. Formed in 1853 on the south-west section of the growing metropolis, the community centered on farming. The Ward met first in a succession of small adobe meeting houses, but as the city grew, the area became more residential and the people engaged in a greater variety of occupations. At the height of the Ward's strength, in 1910, it was decided to construct a new chapel. The red brick Tudor Gothic structure chosen was considered a handsome addition to the neighborhood. But even as the ward continued to grow during the World War I and between-wars period, the demography of the area was undergoing change toward light industrial development. The addition made in 1937 was intended to improve the quality of the church program by expanding the physical facilities, but the changing character of the neighborhood resulted in a steady decline in family membership.

During its existence the ward served a variety of groups, reflecting the current nature of inmigration into Salt Lake city. In the twentieth century the ward membership had a strong European immigrant flavor, that was gradually being combined with Hispanic-American. In the few years prior to the decision to sell the structures, the Fifth Ward became the Lamanite Ward to serve the needs of Salt Lake City's urban Indian population.

Today, in the hands of private developers, the dignity of the Tudor Gothic styling is a decided asset to the ambiance of what would otherwise be an area blighted with small business houses and industrial yards. (National Register of Historic Places Nomination form)

Photo by T. Hanchett, Sept. 1978. Negative at Ut. St. Hist. Society. View of front and north side looking from northeast to southwest. (National Register of Historic Places Nomination form)

Tios Corporation architects were listed as tenants from 1979-1982. During their time in the building, they developed a modular solar building concept and applied for and received a patent as detailed below.

Inventors: Salim, Massoud A; Hamacher, Thomas L
Assignee: Tios Corporation
Issue Date: Apr 20, 1982
Application Filed: Mar 31, 1980

United States Patent 4,325,205

Abstract Text: Solar building construction utilizing a rectangular shaped module, typically square, from which a corner has been cut-off or removed. The opening left in the module by the cut-off corner is paneled and closed in with glass. The module is oriented so that the glass panel, which may include sliding or hinged glass doors, faces in a direction that is exposed to the sun for a maximum number of hours during the colder winter months when the sun is relatively low in the sky. The sun's rays are allowed to deeply penetrate into the interior of the module through the use of open space and carefully positioned interior walls. At least some of these walls are typically perpendicular to the plane created by the glass panel. Both interior and exterior walls, and other fixtures within the modules, are realized using items having a favorable thermal mass. The solar modules thus created may be used individually, as in the case of a single solar building or they may be stacked both horizontally and vertically, thereby creating an economical and efficient solar building complex suitable for apartment houses, townhouses, condominiums, and the like. (PatentBuddy details)

According to the City Directories above, Ginger's Escorts was one of several escort services that were housed in the building during this time. In 1996, the mayor and members of the City Council tried to initiate a ban on these types of businesses. Based on Ginger's continuing to operate in this building during 1999/2000, it appears that the city was unsuccessful with the ban.

Will S.L. Shut Down Escorts?
"Colleen 'Ginger' Hussey, owner of Ginger's Escorts in Salt Lake City said obviously the ban would hurt (she said she makes more than $150,000 a year). But she says a ban also would hurt the community. Escorts give dangerous men a way to release their sexual energy without raping or molesting, Hussey said. She also admitted that some escorts work as prostitutes but that she fires employees who offer sex for cash. Still, she doubts a ban will work." (Salt Lake Tribune 5 Aug 1996 - page D1)

June 2, 2000 - The new club, Vesuvius, re-opened on June 2nd and seems to feature trance and techno. (

In August 2001, Area 51's owner began leasing the building at 740 S. 300 W. and called it Club Sanctuary. The downstairs goth/industrial nights moved from Area 51 to that building during its tenure. The property was foreclosed from the club's landlord and the bank sold the building in 2004...It had also been other clubs: Pompadour, Fusion, Club @, Confusion...Goth/industrial nights were moved back to downstairs at Area 51. (Posted by delilah on 10/27/2008 in reply to "How about some history?" on the SLC Sanctuary message board)

Club Sanctuary flyer for Saturday 13 Apr 2002

Atmosphere of Club @
Club @ is housed in a converted LDS church. The high loft ceiling and large gothic-arched windows on either side lend a spiritual atmosphere, while the club lights and dance floor leave no question that you're in a sinful establishment. At the bar, Linda serves up a variety of soda, Sobe, and energy drinks and snacks. A row of seats lines the north and south side, on either side of the dance floor, and a lounge juts off from the main floor to the southeast, providing a good place to talk and enjoy your drinks.

The basement of Club @ features a large dance floor with 2 dancing platforms, a few smaller platforms for sitting, a lounge on the northeast corner, and another lounge at the west end of the building. A free pool table is available in the west-side lounge, as well. (

Exterior of Club @

Interior of Club @ - Phantom photos by Ryan

Interior of Club @

Tibetan Buddhist Temple (Urgyen Samten Ling Gonpa)
In 2004, with the need of a larger space, the sangha (congregation) moved the Gonpa to this beautiful historic building which was built in 1910 as the LDS Fifth Ward Meetinghouse. In recent years the building had been used as various types of nightclubs and needed much work, but with generous efforts from countless individuals within the Salt Lake community and beyond, the space was restored. (

A spiritual refuge: Tibetan Buddhist temple will be haven for worshippers
In a silent answer to ongoing Chinese government efforts to eradicate Tibetan Buddhism, a pair of local practitioners have fashioned a new temple for their faith in downtown Salt Lake City.

And though it is a world away from the shrines and monasteries of Tibet that are now threatened with extinction as places of worship, the new temple — called Urgyen Samten Ling Gonpa — will also preserve the workmanship of a Tibetan craftsman, whose singular mission since coming to Utah has been creating a large alcove for Buddha and the faith's sacred texts.

A master wood carver, Kalsang Diwatsang has spent the past three months crafting a large altar entirely from memory, using specialized tools he has fashioned himself. Power tools aren't part of his universe, and he likely "wouldn't know what to do with them," resident teacher Lama Thupten Dorje Gyaltsen says.

The enterprise adds another new bit of diversity to a state often known more for its religious uniformity. Considering that Utah's 19th century settlers fled religious persecution, some may also find it fitting that the temple also provides a new haven for a persecuted faith whose leader, the Dalai Lama, lives and works in exile, his followers persecuted and jailed in the land of their birth if they dare practice their beliefs. Its new location — in an old LDS meetinghouse — underscores the connection.

Sitting on a busy downtown thoroughfare partially obscured by trees, the old red brick church likely wouldn't be noticed if you weren't looking for it. Built in 1910, the structure first housed the sacred, then the profane, and now it's back as a spiritual refuge for those who will worship there.

Inside what was once the main chapel, one wall now serves as the centerpiece of the shrine room, complete with a golden statue of Buddha and an elevated throne for his holiness, the Dalai Lama, whose photo will rest there unless he comes to visit in person. Colorful pillows and rugs cover much of the hardwood floor, redeemed from its last incarnation as the dance floor for a Gothic nightclub that was housed there.

Years earlier, when Lama Thupten and his partner, Jean Gardner, first toured the building, even the old textured glass windows had been painted black and what carpeting there was had been "drenched with beer," Gardner remembers. In another of its former lives, the building was home to an escort service.

Attempts to buy the place using conventional financing foundered, they said, when bank representatives would visit. "They'd just shake their heads" after walking inside.

"They couldn't see the vision we had" amid the garbage, the grime and the grim reputation.

But volunteers relied on that vision and began cleaning inside the building in May. They pulled up carpet, replaced bathroom fixtures, scraped windows and hauled trash. As light came through the formerly darkened windows, walls were reconfigured and painted, new carpeting was installed and a golden archway was created above where the shrine now rises.

"We wanted to establish an authentic place for the development and practice of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition," Lama Thupten said, adding the temple will host Sunday "pujas," or ceremonial meetings, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. where traditional group practice will be offered to any who care to participate.

The gatherings seek to "awaken our natural qualities of wisdom and compassion," according to the temple's literature. A Sunday School class for children that teaches Buddhist precepts will also be offered, along with introductory and intermediate courses in Buddhism and a variety of general meditation classes. The temple also houses two retreat rooms for those seeking a place for prolonged spiritual meditation of at least three days or more. One adherent has already spent time in contemplation there, though the temple is still being completed, they said.

Gardner said she and Lama Thupten, who married 13 years ago after studying their faith in Nepal, first established the temple 10 years ago in a 600-square foot space near Pioneer Park, along with the Red Lotus School of Movement. He teaches Wing Chun Kung-Fu, Tai chi Chu'an and Qi Gong, and she teaches toddler creative arts. The school will move into a basement studio inside the new temple, and other small non-profit tenants will also inhabit the building.

The two say their congregation of about 30 people has helped get them into the building with donations, and they've also done fund raising, though they don't own the 9,000-square-foot structure. Negotiations for financing with private investors are ongoing, Gardner said, adding they are working to raise money for the purchase. They hope their grand opening celebration next week, featuring a visiting lama, will help.

While they don't yet know how the purchase will proceed, they've come further with their dream than they believed possible a decade ago, so they say they're not discouraged. "Our feeling is that it's a juncture where spiritual pursuits and material gain clash," Lama Thupten said. "So, we intend to establish a place of spiritual development only. We're not looking to build a profit-making place."

To date, their quest has inspired volunteers, who have donated what they estimate is $12,000 worth of materials and labor. Even contractors hired to work inside have put forth superior effort, they say. "We have had quality people continue to work beyond what you ask them to do. We don't have any money, so on a hope and a prayer it's coming together." Programs at the center are run entirely by volunteers as well.

The Tibetan Buddhist temple is the only such facility for 800 miles in any direction, Lama Thupten said, and complements the other Buddhist congregations, including Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese and Zen, found in the valley.

"We are supposed to be in Salt Lake City," he said, noting he and Gardner had contemplated settling in Seattle or Boulder, Colo., once they had completed their studies with a Tibetan Buddhist master, but he encouraged them to come to Utah.

"We're here to add to the diversity of the community from a mind, body and spirit approach." (Deseret News, 16 Oct 2004)

Urgyen Samten Ling provides many aspects of Buddhist practice. These include: ceremonies (pujas), group meditation, retreats and instruction in individual practice.

Ultimately, there is no truth other than direct experience. We seek to invoke and directly realize the enlightened qualities inherent in all sentient beings.

It is through study, contemplation, and meditation that we discover and embody the ever-present compassion, joy, and innate wisdom of the awakened mind.

When the body is at ease, the breath slows down and becomes peaceful. When the breath is at ease, the mind becomes peaceful and spacious. This is where you begin, look within and rest. The key is knowing how to rest.

It is our goal to develop a center that will accommodate the needs of all. Whether it's lay practitioners, monastics, Ngakpas, or the community at large, Urgyen Samten Ling is here to serve the needs of all sentient beings without prejudice or hesitation. (

Red Lotus School of Movement

"Buddha nature is a precious gift that each of us already possess. So then, how do we find something we've never lost? Through practice we arrive at uncovering the innate qualities that are already within our body, speech and mind. The qualities of loving kindness and compassion which are the spontaneous expression of the Buddhas, naturally come forth when we know how to simply let go and rest in the natural state of mind."

—Lama Thupten Dorje Gyaltsen


  1. This is amazing Jonathan! I am sharing this on my blog Water, Blood, Oil.

    Great research by the way.

  2. I spent many weekends there, when it was Sanctuary. The atmosphere was perfect for that kind of club. Sad to see it go.

  3. Thanks Tod! I appreciate the kind words and your link to the post.

    Justin - From the pictures I have seen, the building appeared to be a great design and layout for a night club. Apparently converting old churches into bars/night clubs has become quite popular recently. So much so, that even the Vatican came out last year warning against such "immorality". Pretty funny the things people get worked up about. I love the adaptability and reuseability of well-designed buildings and welcome that type of conversion. Especially if the alternative is tearing down a great building and building a cheap one...

  4. Once again, very cool post. I played in a band at Club Fusion for a music/art showcase called the "Dark Arts Festival." I'm not a goth-type person or anything, just a good bass player. Great collection of historical sources. I loved to see the photos of the old ward members. Since this area of town has become rather seedy, it's fascinating -- but somehow sad -- to see how areas of SL have transformed over time.

  5. We're celebrating the 100th anniversary of this building on Friday, October 1st from 5-9 p.m. as part of our 7th Annual Lotus Festival. Stop by and tour this historic building that now houses Urgyen Samten Ling Gonpa--Tibetan Buddhist Temple and Red Lotus School of Movement.

  6. Thank you for this wonderful memory. I spent many evenings dancing and singing in the upper and lower level's of this historic building. I was thrilled when reading about the quantity of music that has been shared between these walls,whether it be Church music, Acoustic,Electric, Gothic, Punk, Ambiance or laughter...I am honored that I was part of this history...I am not religious but to be able to have been another memory captured with in the walls..My thoughts of others who I share these times with is with out question deeply impressed in my heart..... 1993 Club Starzz, 1999 - Club Fusion, 2000 - Club Fusion,2001 - Club Fusion, Club Vesuvius,2004 - Sanctuary
    XoxoX MsEiry

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  8. Thank you so much for this. I have been driving past there and rubber-necking the gorgeous building for years. I finally approached the building on foot recently to see the historic marker, and then found this blog entry. I noticed a few months ago that the building had a for sale sign out front, and I see that Red Lotus School has moved. Do you happen to know who bought the building? I am always afraid for the future of buildings like this that deserve to be preserved.

  9. It looks so pretty in these pictures, a tremendous shock Dat wat happen to tha 1937 extension. I hope they either rebuild the original entry way or the 1937 entryway, either would be goed I hope they can Dave and,resurrect tha building I can picture it even being a museum