The building was originally constructed by free masons between 1891 and 1894 to house offices for the city and county of Salt Lake and replace the Salt Lake City Council Hall and Salt Lake County Courthouse, both erected in the 1860s.
Construction of the building was riddled with controversy. During the late 1800s and early 1900s the City and County Building was the symbol of non-Mormon citizens' open defiance of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was designed to rival the Salt Lake Temple as the city's architectural centerpiece. It is even thought that the building's clock tower and statues were designed to mimic the temple's spires and statue of the angel Moroni. Ironically, the building was originally the 1880s brainchild of the Church-backed “People's Party.” When the non-Mormon “Liberal Party” was campaigning for city government, they deemed the proposed “joint building” an example of the Church's extravagance and wastefulness. In a reversal of stance, the Liberals decided to go ahead with the building when they finally gained power in 1890. Construction began in February on State Street at about 100 South.
Salt Lake City and County Building