In this edition of Things To Do In Salt Lake City, an historic and striking building half a mile east of Temple Square that was one of the first permanent public buildings in Salt Lake City: Council Hall. It served as the seat of government for the Utah Territory and Salt Lake City for 29 years. Council Hall was originally located downtown, just two blocks away from Temple Square, and later moved to Capitol Hill (across the street from the Utah State Capitol building) in 1962. This was Salt Lake City's first City Hall, built in 1866. Constructed of red sandstone and designed by the same architect used for the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square, it depicts the simple beauty of the Old West. A 1700 lb. bell was located in its cupola, sounding fire alarms and curfews, while its clock chimed the hour of the day. This is where the territorial legislature granted woman suffrage; although Wyoming was the first state to pass women's suffrage laws, the women of Utah were the first women in the nation to cast a ballot.
in 1961, the building was set to be demolished to make way for "progress," the new federal building; but some thought it important to preserve the historic building, so a great effort was made to relocate it. The LDS Church was instrumental in preserving the building; it was dismantled brick by brick, and then reassembled on Capitol Hill the following year just the way it originally appeared. Today the building houses the Utah Travel Council. To hear stories of this historic structure and many others, join us on the Salt Lake City Tour or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Tour.