The Lion House was built in 1856 by Brigham Young in order to accomodate his very large family. It gets its name from the statue of a lion over the front entrance, made by William Ward. The lion design is modeled after one located at a prominent home in Vermont where Brigham Young spent some of his childhood.
The House was partly designed by Truman O. Angell, who also designed the Salt Lake Temple, and was built with adobe and sandstone which came from City Creek Canyon.
Before its use as a reception and banquet center, the Lion House was used, of course, as Brigham Young's home, as a home economics center for Latter-day Saint University, and a social center for the Young Women's Mutual Improvement Association.