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BYU History

Cory Nimer, Curator

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Deseret Towers

In late March 2010 Brigham Young University announced that approval had been received to build a new housing development on the land where Deseret Towers had been located. Deseret Towers had been razed beginning in 2006 due to concern over the seismic stability of the buildings and the expense related to upgrading the facilities. The Towers were one of the more unique architectural features of Brigham Young University

Deseret Towers, ca. 1965

The Deseret Towers were constructed in the early 1960s to meet the growing demand for student housing. The residence dormitories were designed by the architectural firm Lorenzo S. Young and Associates and were built by Christensen Brothers. Deseret Towers was comprised of seven residence halls. Construction on the first six buildings was completed by 1965 and a seventh building was added later. The buildings were seven stories tall and each had six stories of dormitory-style rooms. The ground floor consisted of the head resident’s apartment, a lounge and additional student rooms.

The Towers were built using the lift-slab method, in which all of the concrete floors and ceilings were poured on the ground and hoisted into place using hydraulic jacks. This created the possibility of the buildings pancaking during an earthquake and was one of the factors in the university’s decision to raze them in 2006.

The lift-slab technique in action

For information on how to discover more about the history of Deseret Towers contact the University Archivist at (801) 422-5821 or gordon_daines@byu.edu.

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