Although hundreds of scattered settlements were colonized by the mormon pioneers, Salt Lake City rapidly developed into a large, thriving community. In February 1849, about four thousand people lived in the valley. This growth led to the city’s division into nineteen ecclesiastical wards (congregations).
Together these wards composed the Salt Lake Stake. This chapel is located in the Seventeenth Ward of the original Salt Lake Stake. When the Assembly Hall was ﬁrst completed on Temple Square, stake meetings were held there. Today, this chapel serves as the Salt Lake Stake Center.
In early Salt Lake history, each ward was responsible to construct its own building. The ﬁrst meeting place for the Seventeenth Ward was a log building located across the street south of the present building.
The Seventeenth Ward then erected a more permanent building, also situated across the street, directly southwest of this building. In 1904, when the Salt Lake Stake was divided into four separate stakes, the Seventeenth Ward remained a part of the original Salt Lake Stake.
- A unique feature of this building is the magnificent stained-glass window in the chapel depicting the Prophet Joseph Smith’s First Vision. The black bars area seen on the east side of the building is the back of the stained-glass window.
- The Salt Lake Temple was the first building to have a stained-glass window portraying the First Vision, made by Tiffany’s of New York. Tiffany’s produced the finest stained-glass in nineteenth-century America, and their stained-glass windows in the interior of the Salt Lake Temple are superb. After the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple in 1893, three similar copies of the temple’s First Vision window, prepared by Bennett Paint and Glass, were placed in other buildings, including this one installed in the Seventeenth Ward building in 1907. Annie D. donated it. It was the first placed in the second Seventeenth Ward chapel built across the street but was moved to this newer building when it was constructed in 1966.