The Memorial House Story

Alex Wanda wedding july 27 1954 cropped

A unique local history

The area which now comprises Memory Grove Park was set aside as a city park in 1902. It wasn’t until the 1920s, however, that it was designated a memorial park to honor American soldiers. The women of the Salt Lake chapter of the Service Star Legion spearheaded this effort and are largely responsible for making the park the remarkable place that it is today.

Memorial House was originally constructed circa 1890 as a stable and equipment storage shed. In 1926, Salt Lake City leased the building to the Service Star Legion and prominent Salt Lake architects Hyrum Pope and Harold Burton were hired to design a new façade with Georgian style. The brick walls were covered with stucco, six rounded dormers were added to the roof, and the stable doors on the east wall were turned into elegant French doors.

Under the management of the Service Star Legion, Memorial House became a popular setting for weddings, receptions, and luncheons. Over the course of the century, new features were added to improve the venue’s versatility for events. The garden room addition was constructed in 1953, and the patio on the east side was added in 1974. Sadly, after the Legion's lease ended in 1984, the building stood vacant and unused for 10 years. Seeking a new home and hoping that Memorial House could once again play an active role in the community, Preservation Utah, a statewide 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, raised funds for the renovation of the building in cooperation with Salt Lake City Corporation. In July of 1994, Preservation Utah re-opened the doors of Memorial House for public use and has continued to operate the building as a meeting, event, and reception center ever since.