Stop 9: Lion House

63 East South Temple

The front and basement level (ground floor on the west side) of the Lion House were built with pinkish-brown, rough-hewn Nugget Sandstone from the Red Butte quarry. A reclining, pale brown sandstone lion, from which the building received its name, sits on the portico over the front entrance.

Nugget Sandstone varies in color from gray through yellow, brown, buff, and pink to red depending on the amount of hematite (iron oxide, rust) in the cement between the sand grains.

The Lion House was built in 1856 as a communal residence for the numerous wives and children of LDS church leader and polygamist Brigham Young.

The basement contained the weaving room, dairy room, laundry room, kitchen, and a dining room capable of seating seventy. The main floor had a large parlor and individual rooms for wives with young children. The upper floor housed older children and some of the childless wives. A long enclosed porch once ran along the west side where the children roller-skated, exercised on gymnastic equipment, and took music, dancing, and fencing lessons.

Cross both State Street and South Temple; the Alta Club is located on the southeast corner of this intersection.

PI-60 Building Stones of Downtown Salt Lake City, A Walking Tour