The Joseph Smith Memorial Building was originally built in 1911 as the Utah Hotel. It stood as a world-class lodging facility for 76 years, welcoming travelers from all over the world to Salt Lake City. After careful renovation and remodeling, the building reopened in 1993 as the Joseph Smith Memorial Building with a different purpose. Today, visitors frequent the Joseph Smith Memorial Building to step back in time, to enjoy fine dining, to learn about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and to attend business and banquet functions.
One of the most luxurious reception and business centers in the American West, the Joseph Smith Memorial Building is located in the very heart of the historical center of Salt Lake City, directly east of the Salt Lake Temple. The lobby features an art glass ceiling, beautiful chandelier, massive marble-like pillars and a grand staircase for which the edifice has long been famous. A large statue of Joseph Smith adorns the lobby, above which hangs a beautiful chandelier. Architectural details have made the building both a landmark in the community and an important contribution to the city's rich cultural fabric.
Two restaurants—The Garden, and The Roof—crown the 10th floor of the building. They offer a variety of cuisine. The Garden Restaurant offers an atmosphere as inviting as the menu, where you dine in a casual, atrium-like setting with a glass ceiling that retracts for open-air dining and spectacular views of historic Temple Square and downtown Salt Lake City. The Roof Restaurant features a gourmet dinner buffet with an equally delectable dessert display, and also offers fine views. The Roof Restaurant is open Monday-Thursday 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The Garden Restaurant is open Monday-Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and until 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Reservations at either restaurant can be made by calling (801) 539-1911.
A third dining option is the new Nauvoo Café, which is located on the street level of the building. It provides great food and gifts to go, with delicious sandwiches, homemade pot pies, rich soups, fresh salads,Lion House Bakery desserts and a great view of the Main Street Plaza and Temple Square. The Nauvoo Café is open Monday-Friday from 7:00am to 8:00pm for hot breakfast, lunch and dinner and on Saturdays from 11:00am to 8:00pm for lunch and dinner.
Another important and popular feature of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building is the FamilySearch Center. This genealogical research area is well suited to those with an interest in their family history but without a lot of research experience (advanced genealogy researchers should consider visiting the Family History Library for a wider range of research tools.). Volunteers are on hand to guide visitors through the computer-based research process, and are happy to offer personal attention and answer any questions. The FamilySearch Center is located on the north side of the lobby level. The newest addition to the FamilySearch Center is the Discovery Center, a fun and interactive way to learn about your origins and family history.
Guests may also take a free tour of the building, or watch a film in the popular Legacy Theater. The film currently showing in the theater is Meet the Mormons, filmed on location across the globe to tell the inspiring stories of six devout members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The film lasts about 90 minutes, and admission is free. Showings of this film start at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and run every two hours until the last showing at 7:00 p.m.
The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is made up of more than just history and magnificent architecture. It also offers twelve individually decorated banquet rooms, which can be rented for banquets, receptions, and business meetings.
Building Tours are offered Monday-Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The FamilySearch Center is open Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.