More historic LDS Church buildings in downtown SLC will close for renovations

Beehive House, Lion House and Joseph Smith Memorial Building are expected to reopen in 2025.

Three historic buildings that belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City will undergo renovations beginning in 2023, according to a Tuesday news release.

The Beehive House, the Lion House and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, all located at or near Temple Square, which itself is in the midst of a massive makeover, will be upgraded, the release stated, to address structural deficiencies, aging finishes, outdated mechanical systems and updates to the “guest experience.”

The Lion House has been closed since 2020. The Beehive House will close April 8. Renovations to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building will begin next year to upgrade electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems, according to the release, and will be closed to the public — including its restaurants and event spaces — while those projects are completed.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) The Lion House, shown in this undated photo, closed in 2020 for renovations.

All three buildings are expected to reopen in 2025.

The three-story Beehive House, built in 1854, was the official residence of three Latter-day Saint leaders: Brigham Young, Lorenzo Snow and Joseph F. Smith. The house was built to accommodate the large family of Young, perhaps the West’s most famous polygamist. The Utah-based faith officially abandoned plural marriage in 1890.

Next door to the Beehive House is the Lion House, which was built in 1856 and was also a Young family home. The house had 26 bedrooms to accommodate the family, the church’s website says.

Just west of the Beehive House and Lion House is the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, a 10-story administrative center that also is home to restaurants and the Legacy Theater. Filled with chandeliers and stained glass, the building was originally the Hotel Utah, finished in 1911.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) The Joseph Smith Memorial Building, shown in this undated photo, is slated to close for renovations.

After the Hotel Utah finished operations in 1987, the church’s website reports, it reopened in 1993 as office and meeting space for the global faith of 16.8 million.

The iconic, six-spired Salt Lake Temple, now shrouded in scaffolding, has been closed while undergoing an expansion and seismic retrofit. At last report, it also was expected to reopen in 2025.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Temple Square, shown in September 2022, is undergoing a massive upgrade and transformation.