South Temple Street entrance to the Beehive House
|Location:||Salt Lake City, Utah|
|Architectural style:||Greek Revival|
|Part of:||Brigham Young Complex (#66000739)|
|Added to NRHP:||February 26, 1970|
The Beehive House is one of the two official residences of Brigham Young, an early leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons). The Beehive House gets its name from the Beehive sculpture atop the house. It was designed by Young's brother-in-law and architect of the Salt Lake Temple, Truman O. Angell, who later designed Young's other residence, the Lion House.
The Beehive house was constructed in 1854, two years before the Lion House. The Lion House is adjacent to the Beehive House, and both homes are one block east of the Salt Lake Temple and Temple Square on the street South Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is constructed of adobe and sandstone.
Young was a polygamist, and the Beehive House was designed to accommodate him and his wives and his children by them. As Young's family grew, the Lion House was built to accommodate them and became his official residence after its construction. Upon completion of the Lion House Young briefly shared The Beehive House with his senior (and only legally recognized) wife Mary Ann Angell (1803–1882), though she chose to make her home in a smaller private residence called White House on the property. Young's first polygamous wife, Lucy Ann Decker Young (1822–1890), possibly due to her seniority, became hostess of the Beehive House and lived there with her nine children.
The Beehive House is connected by a suite of rooms to the The Lion House. This suite included Young's offices and his private bedroom where he died in 1877.
The Beehive House served as the executive mansion of the Territory of Utah from 1852 to 1855 and was where Young entertained important guests. Beehive House was replaced as the Executive Mansion by the much grander Second Empire mansion Gardo House which was not completed until after Young's death, at which time it was briefly occupied by Young's successor John Taylor and his successor Wilford Woodruff while the Young family maintained Beehive House as part of Brigham Young's personal estate. There was much dispute and some litigation by Young's heirs as to what was Brigham Young's property and what was the church's property and the home was among the properties in contention; title to Beehive House was ultimately given to Young's heirs who then sold the house to the LDS Church. As church property it was used as the official home of Church Presidents Church Presidents Lorenzo Snow and his successor Joseph F. Smith, both of whom died in the mansion. Smith, who died in 1918, was the last LDS President to practice polygamy at the time of his death and shared the residence with four of his wives.
After Joseph F. Smith's death the mansion became the home economics wing of Latter-day Saints' University, and then a dormitory for young women. The Young Women's organization of the Church also rented out rooms in the home for wedding receptions.
A beehive atop the mansion was used by Young to represent industry, an important concept in Mormonism. In fact, prior to statehood, the territorial government requested that the state be named Deseret, another word for "Honeybee" according to Latter-day Saint belief. Instead, the United States government chose to name the state Utah, after the Ute Indians, though the beehive was later incorporated into the state's official emblem.
Under Church ownership, the Beehive House, at 67 E. South Temple, was restored in 1960 under the direction of Georgious Y. Cannon, a grandson to Brigham Young. It is now a historic house museum with period furnishings (many original to the house) to depict the Young family's life in the mid-19th century.
See also 
Media related to Beehive House at Wikimedia Commons