Living here in Utah, I have heard more than once that Brigham Young assigned parcels of land in Salt Lake City to be used for other churches. I have also read this claim here, in this forum.
The story goes, when the Catholic Church wanted to build a church in Salt Lake City, Brigham Young gave the Catholic Church land to build on. Later, when Catholics wanted to build the Cathedral (on S. Temple), he donated the land for this purpose as well.
I have heard it from both Catholics and Mormons. Before doing any research on my own, I believed it was a fact.
I decided to get a history on the Catholic Church in Utah, not only for this, but because I like history.
FACT ONE: In June of 1866, $2300 was paid to William T. Twitchell, the owner of a small piece of property, one block east of Social Hall. Twitchell did not have clear title to the land, and so there was a conflict with the original owner, Joseph B Nobles. Father Edward Kelly, of the San Francisco archdiocese, approached Brigham Young to arbitrate the conflict. Young ruled in Father Kelly’s favor. The first Catholic church in Utah, St. Mary Magdalene church (commonly called St. Mary’s church), was built on this property. Using funds donated to the archdiocese by a French Catholic mission charity and local parishioners.
FACT TWO**: In February of 1890, Bishop Lawrence Scanlan, of the newly formed Vicariate of Utah and Eastern Nevada, paid $35,000 for a lot on South Temple and B street. A month later he bought an adjoining lot that expanded the property north to 1st Avenue, for $14,500. The Cathedral of the Madeleine was built on this property, using funds donated by Utah parishioners (all 5000 of them). Cardinal James Gibbons (of Baltimore) attended the Cathedral dedication, on August 15, 1909. When Bishop Scanlan died in 1915, Cardinal Gibbons suggested he be buried in the sarcophagus beneath the main altar of the cathedral he had brought into being.
(“Salt of the Earth: The History of the Catholic Church in Utah, 1776-2007”, Bernice Mooney and Msgr. J. Terrence Fitzgerald)