Though small, the 93-year-old LDS Church Administration Building (CAB) which sits on Temple Square (headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) in between the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and the Lion House is quite striking in both appearance and history. Built in the Grecian style, out of the same type of granite as the Salt Lake Temple, the building has 24 Ionic stone columns, has an entablature with many carvings, and measures 101 feet 11 inches wide by 165 feet 3 inches deep, by 80 feet high.
Opened on October 2, 1917, the building took three years to complete. The 4,517 granite stones used to build the CAB were taken from the walls of Little Cottonwood Canyon north of Salt Lake City. Collectively the stone work weighs more than 6,200 tons. The beauty of the building extends to the interior. Utah marble and onyx, in addition to rare wood from the United States, Honduras, and souheastern Russia, add to the aesthetics.
The President’s Office, built by LDS Church architect Truman Angell in 1852, originally served as the office building for church leaders. With the completion of the CAB, however, offices for the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve, the First Council of the seventy, the Patriarch to the Church, the church secretary, and many others were housed here. It also housed the missionary department on its fourth floor until the completion of the Church Office Building (COB) in 1972.
The use of the CAB has not changed very much today, though. Although the COB houses most of the church leaders’ offices, many of the general authorities’ offices are located in the CAB.
After receiving extensive remodeling, the CAB reopened on February 8, 1978. It also received a seismic upgrade in the summer of 2008. Construction was done over just a month-long period, with double shifts being worked six days a week in order to complete the work in as short a period of time as possible, limiting interference with church leaders’ responsibilities and schedules.
Though the CAB used to be open for public tours, it no longer is today. This provides extra privacy and security for the individuals who have offices there. The first-floor reception area was used until recently for viewings of late church presidents. However, the beloved prophet Gordon B. Hinckley’s viewing was held in the Conference Center to accommodate more people who wished to attend.
The beautiful building still serves an important function, but is also a reminder of the incredible architecture that remains evident on Temple Square. A large United States flag can be found flying in the front of the building as a reminder of the freedoms and protections we enjoy as citizens of the United States.
Doris White is a native of Oregon and graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English and a minor in Editing. She loves to talk with others about the gospel of Jesus Christ.