Beehive House

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For the primitive type of building, see Beehive house.
Beehive House
Beehive House South Temple Street.jpg
South Temple Street entrance to the Beehive House
Location 67 E South Temple St, Salt Lake City, Utah
Coordinates 40°46′10.995″N 111°53′18.7578″W / 40.76972083°N 111.888543833°W / 40.76972083; -111.888543833Coordinates: 40°46′10.995″N 111°53′18.7578″W / 40.76972083°N 111.888543833°W / 40.76972083; -111.888543833
Built 1854
Architect Angell,Truman O.
Architectural style Greek Revival
Part of Brigham Young Complex (#66000739)
NRHP Reference # 70000626
Added to NRHP February 26, 1970[1]
Beehive House (left), Eagle Gate, and LDS Church Office Building

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 (LDS Church). 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 his large family. The Lion House also became his official residence as governor of Utah Territory and president of the LDS Church. Upon its completion, 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 the White House, a smaller residence 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 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 Utah Territory from 1852 to 1855 and was where Young entertained guests. Beehive House was replaced as the executive mansion by the much grander Gardo House, which was not completed until after Young's death, at which time it was briefly occupied by Young's religious successors John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff, while the Young family maintained Beehive House as part of Young's personal estate. There was much dispute and some litigation by Young's heirs as to what was 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 Lorenzo Snow and his successor Joseph F. Smith, both of whom died in the mansion. Smith, who died in 1918, was the last church presidents to practice polygamy at the time of his death and shared the residence with four of his wives.

In 1920, the Young Women Mutual Improvement Association of the LDS Church opened the Beehive House as a boarding home for single women working in Salt Lake City, many of whom were working as secretaries at the adjacent buildings of the LDS Church's headquarters complex. It continued to operate as a boarding house until the 1950s.[2]

A beehive atop the mansion was used by Young to represent industry. Prior to statehood, the territorial government requested that the state be named Deseret, a word for "honeybee" according to the Book of Mormon. 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 LDS Church ownership, the Beehive House, at 67 E. South Temple, was restored in 1959–60[3] under the direction of Georgius 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.

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Media related to Beehive House at Wikimedia Commons