Hotel Utah, 100 years of history

From the Hotel Utah to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • tenx Santa Clara, UT
    June 8, 2011 10:30 p.m.

    And how about the hat/coat check guy in the restaurant? My father gave him his hat and no claim check was given or needed as the man had a photographic memory. Upon finishing our meal and getting his hat back my father would tell him that that hat wasn't his. The man said "mister, maybe that isn't your hat but it was the one you gave me when you came in"!

  • colleen peters Portage, MI
    June 8, 2011 2:26 p.m.

    I covered the Hotel Utah as part of the North run for both SL Tribune & Deseret News from about 1943 to 1953 and I could tell you stories or maybe write a book about Chef Gerard as well as interviewing ex-Pres. Herbert Hoover w/me in bobby sox as well as Marion Anderson who returned after 10 years to sing again in the SL Tabernacle when she had been denied exit/entrance to Hotel except in service elevator although she was singing in the TAB concert. Also tons of other interviews plus dining in Empire Room w/my mom and aunt when Uncle overseas in WWII and first date dinner w/husband in 1948. Maybe I will write that book!! colleen peters

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    June 8, 2011 12:14 p.m.

    My wife and I spent one night of our honeymoon in the Hotel Utah. Although I was distracted, I remember it as a nice place.

  • Ross Madison, AL
    June 8, 2011 11:25 a.m.

    I recall as a young missionary at the mission home in SLC taking our meals in a very large but comfortable dining room in a lower level of the Hotel Utah. It was impressive to me their professionalism in food service, everything was well done and the process was pleasant. I imagined how many thousands of young missionarys had eaten there before me. We were in SLC for just a few days and then boarded buses to Provo for the LTM.

  • reading in idaho Menan, ID
    June 8, 2011 10:16 a.m.

    I loved everything about this story. What a beautiful magnificent landmark. It makes me feel privileged to have entered the building as a young person. Just to enter and look up at the grand balconies was an awesome experience.

    I too was able to eat meals there while a missionary at the mission home up the street while waiting to leave for Brazil in 1962. I'm glad I had the experience of walking to the hotel as part large group of missionaries to eat our meals.

  • bikeboy Boise, ID
    June 8, 2011 9:31 a.m.

    Wonderful story. Particularly the anecdote about Ted and George.

    I have Hotel Utah memories from earliest childhood. On our frequent visits to SLC, my grandpa (Richard W. Madsen, Jr.) would often take us to dinner in the hotel's coffee shop. I loved the big aquarium as a young child. Grandpa was a shareholder and always got treated like royalty, as did his family. (And as were all guests, I'm sure.) Once or twice he took us back to the kitchen to meet the staff, who were personal friends of his, and who were very indulgent of his flock of grandkids.

    When I was dating my future wife, in 1979/80, we'd occasionally prowl around in the quiet hallways and salons of that beautiful building. On more than one occasion I found a piano and would play a couple of tunes for her... at a low volume so as not to alert "the authorities."

  • Steve D Orem, UT
    June 8, 2011 9:24 a.m.

    October 10, 1970 I entered the mission home right down the street from the Hotel Utah. For the few days we were there, we ate our meals at the hotel--breakfast, lunch and dinner. The breakfasts there were especially good. While eating there we encountered many general authorities most memorably the kind-hearted Le Grand Richards. I'm sure there are other missionaries out there who have memories of meals at the grand Hotel Utah.

  • Mary E Petty Sandy, UT
    June 8, 2011 9:08 a.m.

    My most treasured memory of the Hotel Utah is as a little girl experiencing her first "high tower" elevator trip with my identical twin sister. The memory of that surge and drop, still takes my breath away. Thanks for the ride, you Grand Old Lady!

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 8, 2011 6:39 a.m.

    Back in the day, you probably had a lot of LDS folks, including leaders, drinking the coffee. Those were different times. I also remember seeing a photo in the past of segregated drinking fountains at the Hotel Utah.

  • B Logan, UT
    June 7, 2011 10:34 p.m.

    Is it just me, or is this the third story on the Hotel Utah in the past six weeks?

  • Ronald Fox North Salt Lake, UT
    June 7, 2011 9:38 p.m.

    The Hotel Utah had a great history in Utah and America. I think almost every president has stayed there from William Howard Taft in her first year 1911 to George H. W. Bush except Calvin Coolidge, that I know of. Taft remarked how much he was impressed with the hotel in the local papers, Woodrow Wilson met with Emmaline Wells there, he honored her as a leader in the early women's rights movement. Warren Harding stayed there on the last trip of his life, death came a fews weeks later in San Francisco. Herbert Hoover stayed there the more than any other with over 20 trips to Utah. Harry Truman ate in the Empire Room, Dwight Eisenhower had a rally in the same room, Kennedy and Johnson stayed there several times and visited with President David O. McKay, they could not keep the crowds away. The same could be said of Nixon, Ford and Reagan. I'm pleased that she was restored and is still in the service of the Church, she is still a great lady, a flagship in our community.

  • Ray in St.Petersburg Saint Petersburg, FL
    June 7, 2011 7:17 p.m.

    Thank you for the delightful read your article on the Hotel Utah provided. My personal experience with this striking edifice is limited but to one: a few days before Christmas in 1970 I visited the hotel's gift shop and purchased a handsome framed work of copper depicting pioneer history. That work of art graced the wall above my fireplace in Connecticut for many years and served not only as a reminder of the Hotel, but also of the best years of my life as a student at BYU. Thanks for rekindling the memories!

  • FYI Taylorsville, UT
    June 7, 2011 6:09 p.m.

    "Tribune reporters, of course, said the Hotel Utah served the best coffee in town."

    My grandmother always said the same thing.

  • Boo in Boston Boston, MA
    June 7, 2011 4:47 p.m.

    Tribune reporters, of course, said the Hotel Utah served the best coffee in town.