Gilgal Sculpture Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah

Gilgal Sculpture Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah

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Gilgal Sculpture Garden is a small public city park in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is the work of Thomas Battersby Child, Jr. (1888-1963) and the only designated “visionary art environment” in the state of Utah.

Gilgal Sculpture Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah

Thomas Battersby Child, Jr. a Mormon, was a masonry contractor and Bishop of the 10th Salt Lake LDS ward. He began working on the garden in 1945, when he was 57 years old, and continued working on it until he passed away in 1963.

Gilgal Sculpture Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah
The Monument to the Priesthood

The park contains 12 original sculptures and over 70 stones engraved with Mormon scriptures, poems, and literary texts. And some of those sculptures are a little offbeat.

Gilgal Sculpture Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah
The Monument to the Trade (self portrait of Thomas Battersby Child, Jr.)

There’s a sphinx with the head of Joseph Smith (the founder of Mormonism and the Latter Day Saint movement). A sacrificial altar. A disembodied giant (based on the Biblical story of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.) And even a life-sized statue of Child himself.

Gilgal Sculpture Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah
The Sphinx

To create these sculptures Child would travel the state looking for boulders and stones, some up to 62 tons, on the mountainsides and streambeds that would support his work. He then would work on them in his yard using special equipment.

Gilgal Sculpture Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah
Bertha Child Memorial

In order to see the works on display, visitors must follow a stone path engraved with biblical and literary quotes. “Gilgal” is the Biblical location where Joshua ordered the Israelites to place twelve stones as a memorial. It can be translated to mean “circle of standing stones.” So it’s an appropriate name for this Salt Lake City park and Utah roadside attraction.

Gilgal Sculpture Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah
The Eagles

After Child passed away in 1963, private owners took over the garden. Friends of Gilgal Garden (FOGG) was organized in 1997 to preserve the site,

Gilgal Sculpture Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah
Daniel II: Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream
Gilgal Sculpture Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah
Captain of the Lord’s Host
Gilgal Sculpture Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah
Gilgal Sculpture Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah

Gilgal Sculpture Garden

Address: 749 E 500 S, Salt Lake City, UT
Cost: No Admission Charge
Hours: 8 am to 8 pm (April – September), 9 am to 5 pm (October – March), Closed on New Year Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Visit the official website.


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Gilgal Sculpture Garden, a small public city park in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the work of Thomas Battersby Child, Jr. and displays Mormon sculptures.
Gilgal Sculpture Garden, a small public city park in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the work of Thomas Battersby Child, Jr. and displays Mormon sculptures. #UtahRoadsideAttractions #UtahRoadsideAttraction #RoadsideAttractions #RoadsideAttraction #RoadTrip #UtahRoadTrip #UtahRoadTripWithKids #UtahRoadTripBucketLists #UtahBucketList #UtahRoadTripItinerary #UtahRoadTripPictures #UtahRoadTripMap #UtahWeekendRoadTrip #SaltLakeCityRoadTrip #UtahRoadTripAdventure
Gilgal Sculpture Garden, a small public city park in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the work of Thomas Battersby Child, Jr. and displays Mormon sculptures.
Val

Val is the founder and head road tripper at Silly America. Having grown up near Berwyn's famed car kabob, The Spindle, and a restaurant with a cow on its roof, her fascination with roadside attractions started early. Today, Val has visited over 300 roadside attractions across 31 states and is constantly on the lookout for the next BIG thing!

Val also blogs about her life, travels, and cats on her personal blog, Choosing Figs.

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