Temple Square is the most visited site in the state of Utah. Its popularity can be attributed to its central geographic location in the capital city, to the national popularity of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and to the general interest in the historic tabernacle and Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--the Mormons. Though it now enjoys a position of notoriety, it was never really the intent or hope of the early Mormon settlers that it would become a state, national, or even internationally known site. Temple Square began with a simple declaration by Brigham Young that it was the future site for the Salt Lake Temple. It then gradually evolved into the present sanctuary that houses within its protective walls three significant pioneer buildings, two visitor centers, and historic monuments--all within a beautifully manicured garden setting.
Temple Square began with Brigham Young's location of the temple building site four days after the arrival of the main body of Saints into the Salt Lake Valley on 24 July 1847. Young originally called for the site of the temple to be forty acres but later reduced it to ten acres to make it compatible with the ten-acre blocks proposed for the city. The reduction in the lot size left the Salt Lake Temple on what is the northeast quadrant of the present site rather than what would have been the middle of the originally proposed forty-acre site.