Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah
One of Salt Lake City’s most prized and visited attractions, Temple Square is a multi-acre complex owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the center of Salt Lake City, Utah. Visitors of the square can also enjoy additional church facilities that are immediately adjacent to Temple Square. Attractions at the Temple Square include the Salt Lake Temple, Salt Lake Tabernacle Choir, Salt Lake Assembly Hall, the Seagull Monument, and two visitors’ centers. In 1964 the square was designated a National Historic Landmark District mean to recognize and celebrate the Mormon achievement of settling the Utah territory.
Temple square previously functioned as the LDS Church’s headquarters. Other buildings were were steadily added to the plot, including a tabernacle (prior to the one occupying Temple Square today) and Endowment House, both of which no longer exist. The world famous Salt Lake Tabernacle, home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, was built in 1867 to host the church’s bi-annual general conferences. It has a seating capacity of 8,000 and offers practice open to the public Thursday evenings at 7 o’clock. The site also contains the Salt Lake Assembly Hall with a seating capacity of 2,000.
As the church grew throughout the years, its headquarters have grown too and expanded throughout the downtown Salt Lake City area. Today, an administration building lives east of the temple. The Hotel Utah, also on this adjacent block, was remodeled in 1995 as the church’s needs for office space grew. In 2000, the church purchased the section of Main Street between this block and Temple Square and connected the two blocks with a plaza called the Main Street Plaza. In 2000, the church added a new, 21,000 seat Conference Center on the block north of Temple Square.
Hosting around 5 million visitors per year, Temple Square is the most visited attraction in Utah, bringing in more visitors than nearby Yellowstone National Park or Grand Canyon. To give you an idea of the popularity, Utah’s five National Parks Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, and Arches average 5 million visitors annually.