The tallest building in Salt Lake City at 28 stories, the Church Office Building at Temple Square houses the administrative support staff for the lay ministry of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout the world.
Upon its completion in 1972, the Mormon leadership centralized the offices of the church in this location, which has facilitated the direction of their constantly expanding religious organization. Everything from church-related magazines, to translation of church materials into numerous languages, to regulation of missionary efforts, to production of church films, to construction of temples and more comes through the doors of the Church Office Building.
Visitors are welcome to tour the observation deck on the 26th floor of the building, which is open Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (5:00 p.m. during summer months). Additionally, the public areas of the building and the garden surrounding the structure are popular attractions.
The entire Salt Lake Valley is visible for the observation deck, including the Wasatch mountain range on the east and the Oquirrh range to the West. To the north, visitors can see the Utah State Capitol Building, and to the south downtown Salt Lake City and some of its suburbs.
Visiting the Church Office Building is also a great way to learn more about the history and beliefs of the Mormon Church. The lobby is dominated by a massive mural of Jesus Christ commissioning the Apostles of the New Testament to preach the gospel message throughout the world. The lobby also features a statue honoring pioneer sacrifices, which depicts a husband and wife burying an infant child. The inscription reads "That the struggles, sacrifices and the sufferings of the faithful pioneers and the cause they represented shall never be forgotten."
Visitors can take a free tour of the gardens surrounding the Church Office Building. The gardens are completely redesigned every six months, and feature a stunning array of unique and exotic plants and flowers. Tours meet at the southwest lobby Monday through Friday at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., and Tuesday and Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. Sunday tours meet at 10:15 a.m. at the east gate of Temple Square.