Moss Courthouse Expansion Project

Moss Courthouse Expansion Project
Between 400 South, Main Street, West Temple, and Market Street, Salt Lake City

Current Status

The Odd Fellows Hall was successfully moved across Market Street in Summer 2010. It has been sold by GSA to a new private owner with a preservation easement held by UHF. Odd Fellows has also been re-listed on the Salt Lake City Register of Cultural Sites. Schedule for construction of the new courthouse has not been announced.

In 1996, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) began seeking additional space for the federal courts in downtown Salt Lake City. Through a series of public meetings, site analyses, and work by the design team, the GSA announced plans to build a separate

Moss Courthouse Expansion Projectcourthouse annex on the same block as the current, historic Frank E. Moss Federal Courthouse.

While the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966 provides for review of projects undertaken by federal agencies that may have an effect on historic buildings, the federal government has an obligation to try to avoid demolishing historic buildings when it constructs a new project. This is consistent with what has happened for the Moss Courthouse expansion project.

Through the NHPA process, the U.S. General Services Administration identified three historic buildings worthy of historic preservation efforts. Since 1996, Utah Heritage Foundation has consistently urged the GSA to save these three historic buildings on the Moss Courthouse block - the Odd Fellows Hall, Moss Courthouse, and the Shubrick Hotel.

Due to the location, design, and configuration of the new courthouse annex, the GSA determined that the Odd Fellows Hall would be moved to a new site across the street. We are very pleased that the NHPA and the public process has led to keeping a historic building near its historic location on Market Street, and returning it to a private owner once the move and basic rehabilitation are completed. The General Services Administration has scheduled an open house and auction for the Odd Fellows Hall. The open house will take place on July 27 from 9 AM to 2 PM. The auction will take place July 28, both online and live at the Hampton Inn at 425 S 300 W on July 28; registration starts at 9 AM and the auction is at 11 AM.

Preservation Issues

Currently, Odd Fellows Hall is moving to its new location on the even side of Market Street. The architect for the move is Cooper Roberts Simonsen Associates of Salt Lake City and the contractors are Layton Construction and Emmertt International.

The U.S. General Services Administration has concluded the public process for the new courthouse site and new building design. The courthouse annex will be placed west of the current federal courthouse and will face West Temple. Thomas Phifer Architects of New York City and Naylor Wentworth of Salt Lake City have served as architects for the design of the new courthouse, which is anticipated to start in 2010 and be completed in 2012 (rendering seen at left).new_federal_courthouse_rendering

Utah Heritage Foundation regrets the unfortunate loss of the Shubrick Hotel as a piece of the historic fabric of downtown Salt Lake City. As a historic preservation advocacy organization, we feel that our goals to successfully ensure the integrity of the Section 106 process as part of the National Historic Preservation Act, save and relocate the Odd Fellows Building, and ensure the future use of the historic Moss Courthouse for bankruptcy court were achieved.



Architect: John C. Craig, Chicago/SLC

shubrick_1998_high_res_01-16-04_kh_sizedWhen it was completed in 1912, the Salt Lake Tribune judged the Shubrick "the most modern apartment hotel thus far constructed in Utah." The building contained a variety of innovative features, including a summer roof garden, a basement laundry, and a lobby designed to serve as a social hall for residents. In addition, all rooms were illuminated with both electric and natural light. The Shubrick Hotel will be demolished in 2009 as part of the courthouse expansion project.

FRANK E. MOSS FEDERAL COURTHOUSE (1902-05; 1911-12; 1931-32)

Architect: James Knox Taylor, Supervising Architect of the Treasury (1902-05, 1911-12); James A. Wetmore, Acting Supervisor of the Treasury (1931-32)

moss_courthouse_w_banners_img_0306After Utah became a state in 1896, the federal government began planning the construction of a building to house federal offices in Salt Lake City. The Treasury Department considered two sites for the building. One site, located across from Temple Square, was offered by the LDS Church. The second site, near 400 South on Main Street, was offered by the Walker brothers, local bankers who had become disaffected from the LDS Church.

After vocal opposition from many of Salt Lake City's leading non-Mormon businessmen to the LDS Church site, the federal government purchased the Walker brothers' site. Completed in 1905, the Federal Building became the anchor of the growing non-Mormon south downtown business district.

This building functioned for many years as a combination post office, courthouse, and federal building. It was one of the earliest Neoclassical style buildings in the state. This style was popular for monumental buildings like banks, churches, courthouses, and post offices in the early decades of the 20th century.

The Frank E. Moss Federal Courthouse will continue to serve as bankruptcy courts after the courthouse annex is completed. The building is schedule to receive restoration approximately ten years after completion of the annex.


Architect: George F. Costerisan, SLC

ioof historic photo for webThe International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) was one of the many secret fraternal organizations popular in 19th-century America. These organizations engaged in a variety of social and charitable activities. They also offered "fraternal insurance" programs to assist members and their families in case of an illness or death.

It is no accident that the Utah Odd Fellows decided to build their hall here. Like most 19th-century fraternal organizations, the Odd Fellows excluded Mormons and Catholics from membership. The largely Protestant and Jewish members of the Utah Odd Fellows felt most comfortable in the emerging non-Mormon enclave at the south end of downtown.

The Odd Fellows Hall is one of the best examples of Richardsonian Romanesque commercial architecture remaining in Utah. A variety of brick patterns give the façade a textured appearance. Look for the inscriptions "IOOF" and "1891" in the elevated center portion of the parapet. Also note the carving of the all-seeing eye, an Odd Fellows symbol, above the main entry.