Community mourns damaged historic 5th Ward meetinghouse that has lived many lives

Apr 2, 2024, 7:15 PM | Updated: 7:17 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Local leaders said they support an investigation into the started-and-halted demolition of the 5th Ward meetinghouse in Salt Lake City. Officials stopped crews from completely tearing down the historic building on Sunday. The former church is now surrounded by fences.

Crews are busy boarding up the structure while community members from all walks of life stopped by Tuesday to take photos of what it looks like now, damaged, and to share memories of time spent in the building.

‘It is unacceptable’: Salt Lake City halts demolition of historic church over Easter weekend

“This ward has really a special place for all of us who ever lived here,” Ellie Pack, who was raised there, said. “I’m kind of emotional to see what has happened to this beautiful building and why the respect was not there of the person that was involved.”

The building was built by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints. And since then, it’s had many lives. Brandy Strand, the executive director of Preservation Utah, said it held real estate offices, architecture firms, a beauty salon, a school, and a Buddhist temple.

Nirvanna stopped by to play a show on June 11, 1991. Tickets were $10.

simple print poster

A concert promotional for a show at the historical 5th Ward meetinghouse that was The Pompadour Rock & Roll Club and hosted Dinosaur Jr. and Nirvana on June 11, 1991. The building was partially destroyed on March 31, 2024 before the effort was halted.

“This building was built by, I’m going to say, sweat and blood,” Strand said.

“I’m absolutely devastated that something like this can happen,” she said. “What feels like at the dead of night when there are policies and processes that everyone needs to go through to ensure that buildings that are meant to be demolished have the appropriate permits and the appropriate processes have been followed.”

Preservation Utah — once known as Utah Heritage Foundation — is a statewide historic preservation organization first established in 1966.

“My grandparents, my great grandparents all went to this ward,” Pack said. “I was actually the last missionary to report in this ward.”

She even temporarily called it home. A flood in 1952 forced seven families to live there.

“My mother, she was the head cook … we were there for about a month and a half,” Pack said. “I’m kind of emotional to see what has happened to this beautiful building.”

Strand wants to help preserve the building that Preservation Utah has been tracking for years.

“It’s just so cool to think it’s been so many things, and it can still be so much more for our community,” Strand said. It is difficult for her and Pack to see the condition of the building now.

“I worry that if this can happen here, can it happen to other historic buildings,” Strand said.

Multiple requests for comment were sent to Jordan Atkin, who’s listed as the registered manager of the property’s owner, 300 West Holdings, LLC, but went unanswered.

“My heart is very sad because someone could take control as he has to destroy a wonderful thing,” Pack said.

The city council is meeting Tuesday night to discuss proposed changes that would create harsher penalties for unpermitted work. The public will have a chance to voice opinions later this month.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Summer travel is about to take flight. That means a whole lot of points and miles being used and ea...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Thieves are going after your frequent flier mileage: how you can safeguard those miles and points

Summer travel is about to take flight. That means a whole lot of points and miles being used and earned, and cybercriminals know it.

7 hours ago

One of the tennis courts that used to be available to the public but now closed due to repeated van...

Debbie Worthen

Some Salt Lake high school facilities closed to the public due to irresponsible dog owners

The Granite School District says irresponsible dog owners are forcing the closure of some high school tennis courts that used to be open to the public.

7 hours ago

A fire at an egg farm in Lewiston has resulted in a response from as far as Franklin, Idaho. (Brian...

Dan Rascon

Egg farm catches fire in Lewiston, prompting a fire response from as far as Franklin, Idaho

A four-alarm fire at the Oakdell Egg Farm in Lewiston left scores of chickens dead on Tuesday.

8 hours ago

Winnie Quilter's dad's 1982 BMW 320I that was set a blaze during Tuesday morning fires....

Garna Mejia

Four fires near downtown Salt Lake City prompts an arson investigation

Fire investigators are looking for someone suspected of starting several fires in the downtown area early Tuesday morning.

10 hours ago


Lindsay Aerts

Utah State Board of Education clarifies districts are in charge of bathroom law implementation

The Utah State Board of Education is clarifying that it's up to school districts to decide how they implement a new bathroom law in schools that requires students to use the bathroom of their gender assigned at birth

10 hours ago

Inside of Utah State University's Autism Support Services: Education, Research, and Training....

Mike Anderson

Autism program at Utah State University is helping kids across the world

An overseas supermodel turned philanthropist is getting help from Utah State University to teach children with autism.

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Community mourns damaged historic 5th Ward meetinghouse that has lived many lives