Truman O. Angell, Brigham Young's brother-in-law—who designed the Salt Lake Temple—was also involved in the design of this home. The home derives its name from the stone lion statue, sculpted by William Ward, positioned over the front entrance. “Lion of the Lord” was a nickname of Brigham Young. It was modeled after one which occupied a similar position on a prominent home in Vermont, the state where Brigham Young was born and raised.
The house is situated at 63 East South Temple, near the corner of South Temple and State Street just one block east of Temple Square. It sits next to the Beehive House, another home belonging to Brigham Young. Nestled between the homes in the back is a garden and stone patio also used for receptions and other gatherings.
In 1869 Young founded the Retrenchment Society in the home for his daughters, which later became the Young Women's Association of the LDS Church.
Brigham Young died in the Lion House in 1877. After his death, the Young family maintained both the Lion House and the Beehive House for several years and then sold them to the LDS Church. The Lion House became a home economics center for the Latter-day Saint University, which was located on the same block. When the university closed in 1931, the Young Women's Mutual Improvement Association acquired both the Lion House and the Beehive House. The Beehive House was used as a dormitory and the Lion House became a young women’s social center.
The Lion House was restored in 1968 under the direction of Florence S. Jacobsen, sixth general president of the Young Women. Tours are available of the home full of pioneer décor, some of which was crafted by Brigham Young or reproduced. It serves as an event venue for banquets, receptions, and parties. In the basement, the Lion House Pantry is open for cafeteria-style dining.
See also: Beehive House