Other LDS Buildings

Outside of strictly religious buildings--temples, tabernacles, chapels--what architectural examples could we find for the LDS Church? There are a few surprising finds, and probably more waiting to be discovered.

Relief Society Halls used to be built, usually adjacent to LDS chapels, specifically for sisters to meet and hold events together. The first was built in Santaquin in 1882. A few of these buildings can still be found in some places.

Old Salt Lake 19th Ward Relief Society Hall

Tithing Offices (also known as Bishops Storehouses) were built in the late 1800s and early 1900s to accommodate the various forms in which members paid tithing (ranging from money to commodities to animals). A few of these can still be found across the Mormon corridor, sometimes serving as stake offices, although almost all have been sold. One tithing office in Pine Valley, Utah is used as a classroom! See all the tithing offices I have visited here.

Bishops Storehouse in Manti

Education Buildings are another good example. The Church has been heavily involved in education since its beginning. Once the Church moved to Utah, this was largely expressed in the form of stake academies, with some stakes building schoolhouses that were good examples of architecture at the time. The only remaining stake academy building that is really used by the Church is found in Colonia Juarez, Mexico, where the Church runs a high school (called Academia Juarez) that is over 100 years old. The high school has about 400 students and teaches in a dual-language model.

Academia Juarez in Colonia Juarez, Mexico

Other education buildings are found closer to the Mormon corridor; in 1892, the Brigham Young Academy opened a new building that is a beautiful example of Romanesque architecture, designed by Don Carlos Young. Karl G. Maeser designed the plans, and claimed that he was shown the building by Brigham Young in a vision. The academy now serves as the Provo City library.

Brigham Young Academy Building


BYU began moving to its current location in 1912, with the opening of the Karl G. Maeser (1912), Heber J. Grant (1925), and George H. Brimhall (1918) buildings, all of which continue to be used:

Heber J. Grant Building

George H. Brimhall Building

Karl G. Maeser Building


Of course, you can also find some historic seminary and institute buildings, as well.

Administrative Buildings at Church headquarters are also beautiful architectural examples of the periods in which they were built; examples include the Joseph Smith Building (formerly the Hotel Utah) and the Church Administration Building. (While the Church Administration Building is not open to the public, the Church News published an interior tour here.)

Church Administration Building

These are architectural examples that people tend not to think of when they consider the LDS church and its buildings.

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