The Utah State Capitol Building sits high on a hill looking over downtown Salt Lake City and the southern Salt Lake Valley area. The beehive is the state symbol and appears frequently in logos across the state. The state highway signs feature a beehive, along with the beehive and being “busy as a bee” also as a symbol of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints. The Mormon word Deseret, which comes from the Book of Mormon and means “honeybee,” appears on many church-run organizations, such as Deseret Industries, similar to Goodwill, and the Deseret News, a newspaper. The Mormons also applied for statehood in 1849 under the name Deseret. This bid was rejected. Even so, the word has a big history with this state, and the industriousness of the Mormon settlers has been a great influence.
Having already lived in a country that was previously run by a church — in Austria with the Catholic church — it makes me wonder about the capitol building’s placement and size. It is not in the heart of downtown, as you can see by the above picture, and what you cannot see in this photo is the Salt Lake Temple at Temple Square, the headquarters of the Mormon church.
In Salzburg, Austria, you could tell the church’s importance by the size of its buildings compared to the tiny city hall, which makes me wonder about a possible statement the designers of the Utah State Capitol Building were trying to make with its position, size and resemblance to the U.S. Capitol Building.