The University of Utah today unveiled the newly refurbished Enos A. Wall Mansion at an event commemorating the reopening of this historic building. The structure, in the heart of Salt Lake City, has been renamed the Thomas S. Monson Center after the current president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Monson is a distinguished alumnus of the U’s David Eccles School of Business, a past faculty member and an honorary doctorate recipient.
The mansion becomes the home of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, which develops and shares economic, demographic and public policy data to help business and community leaders make informed decisions. This institute occupies the second floor, while the first and third floors are restored to their original beauty and will host numerous events.
“We envision this historic building will epitomize the greatness of the state of Utah, especially as it unifies the excellent resources of the University of Utah with the dynamic energy of downtown Salt Lake,” said Jason Perry, vice president for government relations at the University of Utah and director for the Hinckley Institute of Politics. “We’re grateful to all those who put great effort into this restoration and transformation, including and especially the donors who made it possible.”
The donors who contributed funds to the renovation include The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Kem Gardner, Roger and Sara Boyer, the Clark & Christine Ivory Foundation, the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation, the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, the Sorenson Legacy Foundation, Zions Bank, American Express, KSL Broadcast Group and Deseret News.
“In addition to its iconic architecture, the Wall Mansion is the ideal setting for the community building events and innovative, dynamic policy ideas that will be generated here,” said President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “We are pleased to know that the Thomas S. Monson Center will play host to thousands of guests from all segments of the community and throughout the nation and world in the years to come.”
The Thomas S. Monson Center will play a pivotal role in bringing economists, business leaders, and civic authorities together to examine issues pertinent to the state of Utah, and advance policies that will stimulate its growth and development. While the facility will be a place for leaders in business and government to analyze and discuss ideas on public policy topics, it will also provide a space for community gatherings and private events.
“We hope this new center will encourage interaction between the University of Utah and the community it serves,” said David Pershing, president of the University of Utah. “Our goal is to leverage this iconic building and adjacent structures as an asset to Utah’s economic growth and development and help unite business executives, policymakers and academic authorities to not only support the local economy, but to conduct research that influences thought leaders throughout the nation and world.”
The historic 50,000-square-foot mansion has been restored to its original elegance and function, including demolishing the campus’ east building and restoring the original east entrance to its former state, as well as landscaping the property’s gardens to bring an added level of beauty and distinction to the area.
The mansion was designed by renowned architect Richard K. A. Kletting, who also designed the Utah State Capitol. Enos A. Wall, who remodeled and enlarged the home into a Renaissance villa, purchased the property in 1904 and lived in it until 1920. For several years the building was used as the Salt Lake Jewish Community Center and in 1961, the LDS church purchased the home and transformed it into the LDS Business College. In 2014, the LDS church donated the mansion to the University of Utah and craftsmen restored the building to its original façade and turn-of-the-century style while intermixing modern touches, appliances and conveniences.