Formed in 1856 to accommodate rapid growth in the area, the 20th Ward originally met in a meetinghouse on 2nd Avenue between D and E streets. By 1884 when the need for a larger facility and the desire of the school board to use the location for a school playground and auditorium prompted the sale of the property.
When the present site was purchased, Lewis Telle Cannon and ward member John Fetzer, partners in one of Salt Lake's leading architectural firms, were hired to plan the new building. Designed in the Neoclassical style, it also exhibits Renaissance Mannerist influences, particularly in the double gable, discontinuous cornice, and Palladian style entry. The ground was dedicated and the cornerstone was laid on 18 May 1924 by LDS Apostle James E. Talmage, a ward member. The first use commenced 21 September 1924. The building was dedicated by LDS Church President Heber J. Grant on 17 April 1927. Over the years several compatible additions have been made to the basic L-shaped building. In 1914 the largest addition was completed on the southeast corner, creating a new entry and several classrooms. The stained glass windows were added to the chapel in the mid 1970s.