A Mormon Image: The 19th Ward Chapel
When Brigham Young laid out Great Salt Lake City in the 1840s, he modeled it on the Mormon experience in Nuavoo. Thus, the city was divided into wards, which were combined to form the original Salt Lake Stake of Zion. In all there were nineteen of these wards, and they continued to be the core units of the Church in Salt Lake for many, many years. This chapel, built in 1890, housed one of those original wards.
The chapel itself has an oddly Russian or Austrian feel with the onion dome. The building on the immediate left was constructed in 1908 and was originally a Relief Society Building, back when the Relief Society was an independent organization with its own buildings. The Relief Soceity building was originally built elsewhere and moved to its current location.
Chapel construction is now centralized and standardized through Church headquarters, largely as a way of controlling costs and insuring that poor congregations have buildings and wealthy congregations do not lavish excess funds on themselves. However, before this economic and egalatarian model took over Church construction, we had a great deal of diversity in our chapels.
This building is no longer owned by the Church and now houses a community theater troup. It is protected as a historic landmark. It is locate at 168 West 500 North in Salt Lake City, Utah, just around the corner from where my mother lived when I was in high school.