Joseph Smith Memorial Building
Formerly the lavish Hotel Utah, the Joseph Smith Memorial Building is now a social center for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Named after the church’s founder, the Salt Lake City building acts as the welcome center for Temple Square and features the Legacy Theater, which regularly shows church-produced films.
You can admire the Joseph Smith Memorial Building’s stunning architecture from the Temple Square gardens, but step inside the ornate multistory lobby to see the large statue of Joseph Smith and an impressive crystal chandelier. Don’t miss the views of the Salt Lake Temple from the building’s top floor.
You can visit Salt Lake City’s historical Temple Square on a guided or self-guided tour. Some bus tours of the city include a Tabernacle Choir or organ performance at Temple Square.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is ideal for those interested in the history and culture of the Mormon church.
The building’s top floor is a great place to catch the sunset or enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the holiday lights in December.
There are three restaurants and several banquet halls on the premises.
The building is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is located on the corner of Main Street and South Temple in downtown Salt Lake City, directly east of the Salt Lake Temple. You can easily reach Temple Square by car; paid parking is available at the square and across the street at City Creek Center. The green and blue TRAX light rail lines stop at Temple Square and are free to ride within the city center.
When to Get There
The building is open from 9am to 9pm Monday through Saturday; films are shown in the Legacy Theatre from 10am to 7pm. The surrounding gardens are a delight to stroll through in spring and summer, and during the holiday season, Temple Square is aglow with more than a million twinkling lights.
Eating at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building
On the top floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, the Roof Restaurant offers a gourmet buffet dinner with fantastic views of the city, and the Garden Restaurant serves a more casual lunch and dinner menu. On the ground floor, the Nauvoo Café features soups, salads, and takeout sandwiches. Keep in mind that members of the Mormon Church abstain from drinking alcohol and coffee, so neither is available at the Temple Square restaurants.
- Salt Lake Tabernacle
- Temple Square
- Latter-day Saints Family History Library
- Latter-day Saints Church History Museum
- Utah State Capitol
- Clark Planetarium
- Discovery Gateway Children's Museum
- Leonardo Museum
- Tracy Aviary
- Liberty Park
- Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA)
- Fort Douglas Military Museum
- Red Butte Garden
- Natural History Museum of Utah
- This is the Place Heritage Park