I went back to the KOA and waited for my friend, Lois Allred (a neighbor from Cascade Street who moved away about 20 years ago and eventually settled in Salt Lake City), to come pick me up. She was going to give me a little tour of the city. It turned out to be an amazing afternoon.
We started our tour at the new Mormon Conference Center. This is a HUGE building right next to Temple Square. It was built primarily to house the biannual world general conferences of the LDS Church. We were able to get a free 45-minute tour of the building. This picture is me standing outside one of the entrances; I liked the waterfall here.
This is the underside of one of the skylights in the building. Pretty neat, huh?
Inside the Conference Center, the corridors are spacious and beautiful. The same style of lights is used throughout; I thought they were rather pretty.
This is a really beautiful crystal fountains in one of the corridors. Be sure to enlarge and scroll down to see it all. The little thing that looks sort of like a flame floating in space above it, is part of it too.
One of many hundreds of paintings in the Conference Center. Almost all the artwork in the building depicts some aspect of Mormon history or beliefs.
I have to admit, I cheated here: this is not a picture I took, but a "picture of a picture" in a brochure. This auditorium in the Conference Center holds 21,000 people --- without a pillar or obstacle to obscure the view from any seat! It is massive, and beautiful, and there is no way I could photograph it with my camera. At the left you can see the large pipes of the organ and just below them is the seated Morman Tabernacle Choir. The main use of the auditorium is to house the twice-yearly world-wide Mormon Conference. Also, during the summer months, the Choir does their Thursday rehearsal and Sunday broadcast of their music and "The Spoken Word" from here because of the large number of people who come to hear it. The space is also rented out to other large groups for meetings.
This is Lois on the roof of the Conference Center. The trees planted up here are part of the massive gardens on the roof. A special type of low-density, light-weight (about 1/3 the weight of normal) soil was developed to be used in the gardens on the roof. (Remember, this massive garden, including all the trees, is on the roof of a building with no supporting pillars!)
This, believe it or not, is also on the ROOF of the conference center! It is part of the several-acre garden planted on the roof. This part is planted to represent what the native prairie grasses looked like when Brigham Young arrived here with the Mormons in 1847.
This view is from the Conference Center roof. The state capitol building can be seen behind the reddish building which is the McCune Mansion --- a house "built by a railroad magnate for his wife at the turn of the century and was constructed from materials gathered from all over the continent."
I thought this was one of the fountains on the roof, but now (a week later, unfortunately), I think it was on the grounds outside the Conference Center.