Repurposing secular buildings
While some religious buildings have been repurposed for secular uses, there are also examples of the opposite approach, turning private and commercial spaces into houses of worship.
Many of the historical photographs in this exhibit were taken in the 1910s by Newell Beeman, a retired businessman. Find them in the Digital Library’s Multimedia Archives Photograph Collection.
The newer photos are part of a set taken in 2018 to provide a centennial “update” to Beeman’s work. They demonstrate how the religious landscape has changed, with older congregations moving to new homes and their former quarters becoming homes to new communities of other faith traditions or recent arrivals from other countries. In the Digital Library, look for the Salt Lake Religious Architecture photograph collection.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints still looms large in the city it founded. Many of the ward houses photographed by Beeman have been replaced by newer structures, not all of which were photographed for the 2018 update. But even some newer buildings were later replaced and have participated in the repurposing trend.