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LDS Leaders Unveil New S. L. Showpiece

By Douglas D. Palmer
Deseret News, 26 June 1993, page A1

Article Summary:

“We feel it is imperative that the viability of this city be maintained, that the core of the city be kept strong and beautiful. It is in that spirit and with that philosophy that we have made the kind of investments we have made,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Representatives of the news media toured the Joseph Smith Memorial Building on 25 June 1993 and previewed thenew 53-minute film, “Legacy.” The 70mm production, shown on a giant screen and enhanced by a powerful sound and projection system, leaves viewers feeling close to the action in the film, which recounts the early history of the church through the experiences of a pioneer family. The film was commissioned by the church and directed by Kieth Merrill, an Academy Award winner.

The Hotel Utah closed 31 August 1987 because of the extensive renovation it needed. The building could have been razed and the land converted to other uses, but the Church “felt this was a treasure of such tremendous value to the community . . .”

The name “the Utah Building” was abandoned to avoid possible confusion with another building recently constructed nearby, the One Utah Center. President Hinckley said other church buildings have ties to President Brigham Young, but “we have not had in this community a structure which stands as a fitting tribute to the man we respect and honor as the founder (and first prophet) of this church.”

Every supporting beam underneath the building was raised one-sixteenth of an inch. “We literally propped this building up and put in a whole new foundation,” said Robert D. Hales, of the Presiding Bishopric.