Posts tagged: Hotel Utah

Hotel Utah Love Story

-Guest entry -

The Doorman and the Elevator Operator – Hotel Utah 1936

1936 doorman and elevator operator story - Hotel Utah

The year was 1934 and the Great Depression was in full swing.   Two young people, brother and sister, left their hometown in Gunnison, Utah to come to the big city of Salt Lake City to attend L.D.S. Business College.   Their names were Ernest Uhlan ( known as Rudy), and Carol Swalberg.

Rudy was a dapper young man with big plans and Carol was a lovely young woman with high hopes.   As a child she had developed polio, which left her crippled, and she was given a scholarship from the State Vocation Rehabilitation Department to receive schooling.   Carol completed her schooling and went to work and in 1936, to his great joy, Rudy was able to find employment as a doorman at the famous Hotel Utah.

At the same time, a beautiful young woman by the name of Margaret Janet Stahr, a native of Salt Lake City, also came to work at the Hotel Utah.   Her father had passed away in 1935 and she quit her studies at East High School to help her mother support their large family.   To her great joy, she was hired as an elevator operator at the prestigious Hotel Utah.   It took a while to learn how to control the lever that brought the elevator to a stop on the desired floor, but she soon learned to do the job with perfection.

The rest is “family” history, as it wasn’t long before Rudy noticed the beautiful new elevator operator and a wonderful romance began.  Rudy made sure he took many an elevator trip on a certain elevator manned by the beautiful Margaret Stahr,

Rudy worked at the Hotel Utah until 1939 and Margaret worked there until October 4, 1940 when the happy couple was married in the Lion House in Salt Lake City.  Thus began their life together and the beginning of our family.

Hotel Utah has always been a very special place for our family. Without this beautiful hotel, we wouldn’t have had the happy couple as our parents.  I was born July 9, 1942 and my sister was born October 28, 1943.

Through the years we have enjoyed going there and enjoying the Christmas spirit and decorations there.  When my wife and I were courting, we went to a dance in the Grand Ballroom and have attended family events and wedding breakfasts in this beautiful building.

Thank you for the opportunity to share our story.

Sincerely……………….Ernest David Swalberg

The Hotel Utah was the name and function of the current Joseph Smith Memorial Building.

The Big Event…and more history!

More pictures from the 100 year anniversary of The Joseph Smith Memorial Building.

All of the hosts and hostesses were dressed up in 1900′s type clothing.

The hosts and hostesses are still dressing in this fashion for the entire month of June. So fun to see. :)

President Monson cutting the ribbon.

The big screens featured stories of several individuals whose lives were very much a part of Hotel Utah and/or The Joseph Smith Memorial Building.

The following pictures are done by Andee McDonald Photography

And all floral arrangement for the event were done by Flowers Squared.

More history about Hotel Utah:

Construction on the hotel began June 9, 1909, and the hotel was completed on June 11, 1911. Horse-drawn wagons helped dig the basement of the Hotel Utah. When construction began, it was estimated that it would cost 1.6 million dollars to build; however, the actual cost was closer to 2 million dollars.

The Crossroads Grill, which was located on the lower level of Hotel Utah, featured a live trout pond that ran down the middle of the table. It was always well taken care of, and lilies added another natural element to the trout habitat. Children were especially fond of the pond feature. In later years, the trout were replaced with goldfish. This photograph is from May, 1912.

The front, top half of the Hotel Utah, lit up at night. July 10, 1911. Until the 1940′s, the dome of the building was lit by 6,400 tungsten lights. It is now spotlighted at night. The trademark beehive which sits atop the building is the Utah state symbol and was chosen to represent the qualities of industry, perseverance, thrift, stability, and self-reliance of the early Utah settlers.

100 year anniversary!

June 9, 2011

The old Hotel Utah, now know as The Joseph Smith Memorial Building (JSMB), is turning 100 years old TODAY!

Come join us today for a grandiose celebration. Starting at 6:30pm, the Mormon Tabernacle choir will be singing in the lobby and a ribbon cutting will be held.

Wonderful displays are set up all around the lobby.

Everything here takes you on a journey throughout the years!

There will also be large screens projecting videos of memories past! So come join in on the fun!

We hope to see you all there!

A little history and current information:

In 1911, this building was called The Hotel Utah. Such a beautiful place! It was later converted into the JSMB and is now used for several offices for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There are also three restaurants located in the building and many banquet rooms are available for all sorts of events and gatherings, such as: weddings, receptions, luncheons, business meetings and award ceremonies.

On Display – 100 years of HATS!

In celebration of the 100 year anniversary of The Joseph Smith Memorial Building (formerly Hotel Utah), the current center piece in the lobby is an array of hats from several decades.

These hats hold unique memories of years past. Information stands are posted around the display that tell fascinating stories about these hats in correlation with their time period and Hotel Utah.

One such sign tells about the amazing hat checker at Hotel Utah named Bill Morris. His unbelievable ability to remember which hat went with which owner was astounding!

Bill was actually recorded in “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” for one time being able to return over 400 hats to their rightful owners, simply by memory! No tags or reminder notes here, just pure memory. Wow!

Come visit the Joseph Smith Memorial Building lobby for more interesting facts on these hats. Also, visit the website to learn about future displays and the big celebration coming up in June 2011!