Inspired by Ardis’ recent post on the inadvertent fermentation of wedding rice on the Temple grounds, I thought I would share one of my favorite buildings of the Restoration. I don’t know much about its history, but I understand that it was designed by Church Architect and son of Brigham, Joseph Don Carlos (J.D.C.) Young.
In 1921, during the great liturgical reforms of George F. Richards and Heber J. Grant, the healers were removed from the temple, and apparently ministered in the Annex for a short period, but I haven’t found much documentation at all (if you have any, I’d be thrilled and grateful). The Salt Lake Temple Choir, also disbanded during this period, used to sing in the annex as patrons prepared for the temple.
In the original House of the Lord, James Talmages stated that:
While there are four doorways leading into the Temple directly from the outside, the usual entrance is through the detached building known as the Annex. Under ordinary conditions only Church authorities who assemble in council meetings enter by the outer doors, though on the rare occasions of special convocations of the Priesthood many pass those portals.
The Annex is entered on the ground-level through a spacious vestibule, eighteen by twenty-one feet, with wave-glass on three of its sides. The floor is of mosaic tiling, bordered with marble blocks. This ante-room is supplied with steam heat and serves the incidental purposes of a cloak room. At the Annex door stand two large columns of marble mosaic, and in contact with the adjoining walls are two other columns, of the same material and of corresponding design.
…The main apartment, however, is the Annex Assembly Room. This occupies the central part of the building, and has seating capacity for three hundred persons. The room consists of a central area thirty-six feet square, with a semi-circular alcove of nine feet radius at both north and south sides. The north alcove is occupied by a platform or stand, raised ten inches above the floor, and is furnished with a small lectern. The central body of the room has an imposing column of Corinthian design in each of its four corners; these columns rest upon massive pedestals and extend to the ceiling. Small columns of similar design support the arches which divide the alcoves from the main auditorium. Over the arches at the north end appear portraits of the living First Presidency; and around the walls are portraits of the present Council of the Twelve Apostles, arranged in the order of seniority of ordination. Within the alcoves hang the portraits of the dead,—at the north those of past members of the First Presidency, and in the south recess, those of Apostles now deceased. On the west wall is a full-size reproduction of Munkacsy’s famous canvas, “Christ before Pilate;” this copy is the work of Dan Weggeland, one of Utah’s veteran artists. The ceiling is formed by the intersection of four arches, producing a quadruple groin structure. Each of the four lunettes is occupied by triple series of arched windows consisting of colored glass in simple design. (pp. 181-2)
Temple patrons accessed the temple via underground passage, images of which are available in the House of the Lord, pp. 254-8. Another photo is available at the BYU digital archive.