SLC tornado destroys gay bar, but not temple
Sort of, but not really
The 1999 Salt Lake City tornado was a very rare tornado that occurred in Salt Lake City, Utah on August 11, 1999, during an unusually strong summer monsoon season.
Lanind in downtown SLC, the tornado uprooted trees and destroyed temporary tents set up for a retailers’ convention, claiming one booth set-up supervisor’s life. Over 120 homes were severly damaged and over 100 people were reported injured. The Delta Center (now the EnergySolutions Arena) suffered minor damage. Nearly all the trees in Memory Grove were reported torn out.
Among the damage was a known gay and lesbian bar called “The Sun“. But the legend that the tornado took out this bar and left the temple untouched is not entirely true. The SLC Temple did not suffer any major damage (it’s made of granite after all), but the LDS Church did suffer some damage. A tree near the temple that was a popular photo spot for weddings was destroyed. Cranes that were working on the construction of the LDS Conference Center were also toppled by the storm.
In all, the tornado lasted 14 minutes and caused over $170 million in damages. Damages suffered by members and non-members alike.