Historical photo courtesy of Utah.gov Digital Collections
The Assembly Hall was built mostly using left over granite from the Salt Lake Temple. Unlike the Temple, the granite for the Assembly Hall was not finished nor polished which gives it a rougher, gray appearance. Construction continued for 3 years, and the building was dedicated in 1882.
Historical photo courtesy of Utah.gov Digital Collections. Original photo dated 1910
The building has several architectural features that I have found confusing, one being the prominent star of David over the entrance. The year the building was finished, 1880, was the "jubilee year," or 50th anniversary of the founding of the LDS church. Consequently builders decided to incorporate the star in reference to the Israelite jubilee celebrations in the Old Testament. An additional oddity are the spires, several of which are truncated. These spires previously served as chimneys. Finally, I have often wondered about the incorporation of the large flowers around the ceiling. These flowers are sego lilies, the Utah state flower and an important food source for early pioneers. Murals of important figures and locations in the LDS church were previously painted on the ceiling, although these have since been removed.
Historical photo courtesy of Utah.gov Digital Collections. Original photo dated 1880.
Historical photo courtesy of Utah.gov Digital Collections.
Historical photo courtesy of Utah.gov Digital Collections. Originally photo dated 1927.
Thank you to the following sites for resources and information regarding the Assembly Hall: Utah.com, elliotti.tripod.com, byujourneys.org, Wikipedia, and ldsarchitecture.wordpress.com.
LOST IN HISTORY: Originally the Assembly Hall had an interesting historical item, which was later removed, attached to its center spire. What was it?
Answer to the previous "Lost In History": The ingredient that was included in the plaster for the Tabernacle ceiling to make it harder was cattle hair.