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40 Things You Didn't Know about Temple Square


The Assembly Hall

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Photo from cdn.frontdoor.com

35. The site of the Assembly Hall was used as a gathering place for the Saints very soon after they arrived in the valley. Sagebrush was cleared away, and a crude building was erected and covered with leafy boughs to provide shade from the sun, providing the pioneers their first official meeting place. 

36. The Saints couldn’t afford marble for the pillars of the Assembly Hall, so the columns are actually just made of wood and painted to look like marble.

37. The building used to have a mural on the ceiling with important figures and locations in the LDS church depicted. It also had clear windows, but they were replaced in 1891 by 36 stained-glass windows.

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Photo from heritage.utah.gov

38. The Assembly Hall exterior was built with small, irregular stones discarded during the construction of the Salt Lake Temple. This meant that the original walls were rough and craggy. Workmen filled the surfaces with matching mortar to smooth out the appearance, and then regular mortar seams were added to give the illusion of large, uniform, granite blocks rather than “chippings.”

39. The two random flat-topped spires of the Assembly Hall were originally functioning chimneys, but were capped when the fireplaces were replaced with electric heating.

General

40. Temple Square attracts 3 to 5 million people every year, which is almost as much as the tourism Utah's five National Parks attract combined.

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