A look into the history of the Fifth Ward Meetinghouse

Apr 9, 2024, 8:35 AM

partially demolished fifth ward meetinghouse...

The Fifth Ward meetinghouse was partially demolisted on Easter Sunday 2024. (Peter Johnston/KSL NewsRadio)

(Peter Johnston/KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY– In the 114 years since it was built, the structure known as the Fifth Ward Meetinghouse has served several purposes. 

Currently, it sits on the National Parks Service National Register of Historic Places. It was placed on the register in 1978. 

The early days of the Fifth Ward Meetinghouse

The Fifth Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was originally formed in 1853 and met “in a series of small adobe meetinghouses,” per the documents obtained through the University of Utah’s Marriott Library.

The ward decided to construct a chapel. 

The Fifth Ward Meetinghouse, built in 1910, was designed by Cannon & Fetzer, per records acquired from the Marriott Library.

Originally, it was built as a meetinghouse for the Fifth Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Tudor Gothic-style building could hold 300 churchgoers, per the documents. 

The building was used by the church until 1975. 

From chapel to concert venue (and beyond) 

No sources confirmed the use of the building between 1978 and 1990. However, in 1991, The Pompadour Rock & Roll Club opened its doors in the space. 

Per Concert Archives, the music venue held its first show on January 12, 1991.

During its time in operation, the club hosted the popular 90s bands Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins. Both bands have since become known as staples of the rock music of the 90s. 

Concert Archives reported that The Pompadour hosted its final show on January 4, 1992. 

The building was later turned into a Tibetan Buddhist Temple and the Red Lotus School of Movement, per Salt Lake Architecture

It was vacant at the time it was partially illegally demolished. The contractor who was caught doing the demolition work on Easter Sunday 2024 said that the current owner of the building ordered it to be torn down. 

The future of the structure is currently unknown. 

Related: Contractor says property owner hired him to tear down Fifth Ward Meetinghouse

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A look into the history of the Fifth Ward Meetinghouse