Mormon Battalion Monument – This is the Place

Despite the cool temperatures, threatening clouds, and snow flurries in Salt Lake City, summer is less than six weeks away. With the coming of the warmer months, Utah residents have the opportunity to visit This Is The Place Heritage Park. The park offers a variety of family-friendly activities during the summer. At the top of that list is the Mormon Battalion Monument, where you’ll see more of the work of architect Kevin Watts.

 

 

In January 2010, Watts Architects was given the opportunity to be involved with housing two sculptures depicting the story of the Mormon Battalion: Duty Calls and Duty Triumphs. The larger-than-life sculptures were created by Dr. Steven Neal and took seven years to complete.

 

 

Kevin Watts developed a design that would showcase both of the monuments in a wide, open plaza.  Three relief sculptures were added near the two main sculptures to tell more of the Mormon Battalion story.  Once the design was finalized, Watts Architects worked with Struck Axiom to perfect the relief sculptures. Benches and flagpoles were included as well. We also worked with Colonial Flag, who hand-made the Mormon Battalion Flag.  When the planning was complete, we transitioned the work to Watts Enterprises, who built the monument.  Construction was completed in July 2010.

 

 

 

 

The beautiful Salt Lake valley acts as a backdrop to the two large sculptures and three bas-relief sculptures and, in the evening light, the silhouettes stand out against the colored sky.  The relief sculptures tell the story of the Mormons who were on the Ship Brooklyn and the wives of the men in the Mormon Battalion.

 


 

The monument was dedicated the end of last summer by Elder M. Russell Ballard, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This powerful dedication was reported throughout local media. The details of the monument’s construction, dedication and historical significance was reported by the Deseret News. You may read the article  here.

This was a unique project, full of historical significance. It was incredible to learn more about the Mormon Battalion and what they did for their country and for their religion. Providing a place for the battalion to be recognized and for the incredible works of art to be enjoyed was a pleasure.