When we were driven back and forth from our course, we didn't get to see much of the city. I would walk up along the Convention Center to the Family History Center every day, and work until the building closed, but otherwise I didn't go anywhere. So one afternoon, one of the guys who lived in the area drove us around for a quick recon., and I took this picture. I didn't know what it was, except it looked like an interesting building.
I find that there was a long acrimonious history connected with the construction.. It was designed by Henry Hobson Richardson in the Romanesque Revival style. It is constructed of stone with deep window reveals, cavernous door openings and, occasionally, bands of windows.
The cornerstone was laid on July 25, 1892, and the building was finally completed in late 1894 with the dedecation ceremony on December 28, 1894
Quicksand under the soil where it was built made it necessary to create a massive 31,150 square foot foundation. The building is 267 feet by 128 feet with sandstone walls that are over five feet thick. The top of the tower rises 239 feet above the ground and was the tallest structure in Salt Lake well into the 20th century.
Earthquakes have damaged various parts of the building. Restoration during the 1980’s seemed at times to be as controversial as its original construction.
The second photo (which is a good bit better) is from Wikipedia.
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Fondest memory: The Utah Heritage Foundation provides free tours of the City & County Building on Tuesdays and Saturdays which last about an hour. Guides can also show visitors the clock tower, clock works and the remarkable structural support system. For more information, contact the Utah Heritage Foundation at 533-0858.
There is also a fifty minute video on the City & County Building which can be checked out free of charge from the City Library.
Utah’s Constitutional Convention was held in the City & County Building in 1895. The building served as the state’s Capitol Building from Utah’s statehood in 1896 until construction of the present State Capitol in 1916.
The court system occupied the fourth floor. One publicized case was tried in 1914. Two Salt Lake City grocers were shot and killed in a robbery attempt. Their attacker was also wounded during the gunfight. That night, Joseph Hillstrom, a traveling poet and American labor song writer — better known as Joe Hill — was treated for a gunshot wound which he claimed was inflicted during a fight. With only circumstantial evidence, a jury convicted Joe Hill. President Woodrow Wilson tried to intervene on Hill’s behalf, but Utah Governor William Spry refused their pleas for clemency. On November 15, 1915, Joe Hill was executed at the Utah State Prison in Sugarhouse.
Many years later, Ted Bundy, the infamous serial killer, was convicted of aggravated kidnapping in what is now Room 445.
Favorite thing: The Salt Lake City and County Building was built between 1892 and 1894 and completely restored between 1986 and 1989. The Kyune sandstone exterior is decorated with numerous intricate carvings.
Favorite thing: Take a look at City Hall located on an entire square block between 400S and 500S and State St. Photo: I was impressed with the architecture on all sides, April '97.
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