The Assembly Hall was built in the place of the adobe Old Tabernacle, which was deemed inadequate and subsequently razed. Architect Obed Taylor designed the Assembly Hall and work began on August 11, 1877, using mostly the discarded granite stone quarried for the Salt Lake Temple. During its construction, many people referred to it as the “new tabernacle” even though the Salt Lake Tabernacle was under construction nearby. Church president John Taylor named it the Assembly Hall to clear the confusion. It was completed in 1882.
Despite the ornate twenty-four spires and tower on the exterior, the interior of the building is more modern. The ceiling originally featured murals depicting modern LDS and ancient prophets. The Assembly Hall seats about 1,400 people on bench seating on the main floor and in the surrounding balcony.
In subsequent renovations, a flying-angel weather vane, like the one that once graced the top of the Nauvoo Temple, was removed and the murals were painted over. Large sego lily flowers were added to adorn the ceiling. The sego lily is the Utah state flower and has significance as a food source for the early pioneers.
A 3,489-pipe organ was installed during renovations from 1979 to 1983. The tower and roof trusses were strengthened and the spires were replaced with fiberglass moldings. Small speakers were installed to enhance acoustics, and the benches were refinished. The Seagull Monument stands to the east of the building, commemorating the 1848 event when seagulls consumed the hordes of crickets that were threatening the first crops of the Mormon Pioneers.
The Assembly Hall is used as overflow for General Conference and complimentary weekend music concerts.