Salt Palace Convention Center

The property upon which the salt palace was built was donated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The area where the Convention Center is now located, particularly the west and north ends of the complex, formerly belonged to John Taylor, third President of the Church. A small row of homes located at 47–49 South 100 West were known as “Taylor Row,” where he had homes.



A thoughtful President John Taylor, who was sustained as President of the Church three years following the death of Brigham Young. Utah State Historical Society

John Taylor was born November 1, 1808, in Milnthorpe, Westmoreland, England. Baptized in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on May 9, 1836, he was ordained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1838. He was ultimately set apart and ordained President of the Church in 1880.

In June 1844 John Taylor was incarcerated in Carthage Jail with Willard Richards, Joseph Smith, and Hyrum Smith. On the afternoon of June 27, he sang “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief” to his cell mates shortly before a mob attacked the jail. Although severely wounded in the attack, Taylor witnessed the horrific murders of Joseph and Hyrum.

John Taylor was sustained as President of the Church three years after the death of Brigham Young. Similarly, Brigham Young was sustained as President of the Church three years after the martyrdom of the Prophet. During John Taylor’s presidency there were great trials and persecutions. Members of the Church were forced into exile due to the Edmunds Tucker Act, which outlawed plural marriage and levied heavy penalties against those who could be found and prosecuted.

Because he had been severely wounded in Carthage at the time of Joseph Smith’s death, and because he died while in exile for plural marriage, Taylor is often referred to as the Church’s “double-martyr.” On July 25, 1887, John Taylor passed away in the home of Thomas F. Roueche of Kaysville, Utah.

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Before the Energy Solutions Arena (formerly the Delta Center) was built, the Salt Palace was used for concerts, circuses, rodeos, ABA Utah Stars and NBA Utah Jazz basketball games, and CHL Golden Eagles professional hockey games.
  • The original Salt Palace (designed by famous Utah architect Richard K. A. Kletting) was sprayed with a salt solution that glistened in the sun. At night, it was beautifully lit with nine hundred incandescent lights. Opened 1899, the Salt Palace was located between State and Main streets at 900 South. It burned down in 1910.