Friday, December 17, 2010

Provo Tabernacle

On Sunday night, we were privileged to be able to attend a Christmas concert/fireside hosted by our stake at the nearby Provo Tabernacle, a historical landmark originally constructed in the 1880s-90s. Although I think I had been inside once before, this was my first time there for a meeting. We enjoyed the cool building and the beautiful Christmas hymns. The following pictures are from Sunday, December 12, 2010 at about 6:30 PM.

Provo Tabernacle from northeast
Same, but closer. Trees lit with Christmas lights
Provo Tabernacle from Center Street (north side of building)
Front façade. The white dot at the top is actually the moon.
Front façade, showing entrance (east)
Inside, from balcony (southeast corner) looking out at the choir & orchestra
One of our home teachers, Kent, is actually in this picture (about center). Earlier in the day on Sunday, he actually visited us and sang a song for us he wrote last Christmas. He borrowed Thomas' guitar and was his own accompaniment.
The south and north sides of the building have little "coves" for extra seating in the balcony area.
This kid was amazing. He did not throw that airplane, although it must have been tempting...!
We are feeling particularly blessed to have had such an opportunity so recently, in light of what happened today. The beautiful building was quite literally gutted by fire over the course of the day:

"Fire officials said that alarms notified them of a blaze in the historic building at 2:43 a.m. Within 60 seconds crews arrived on the scene. According to Deputy Chief Gary Jolley, those crews initially tried to enter the building, but quickly discovered that the fire was too large and that the building was unsafe. They retreated and took up defensive positions outside the building.

"By 4:30 a.m. crews were still struggling to contain the blaze. Jolley said that the fire department initially hoped to salvage the building, but added that it posed a unique challenge because of its size and the large wooden timbers used to support its roof." (Article)
Thomas, on his way to work this morning, saw the blaze first-hand around 7:00 AM. When he sent a text to me, I could not believe the news!

The roads surrounding the tabernacle were still blockaded around 4:00 PM, with fire trucks hooked up to fire hydrants, spraying water on the smoldering structure. We spied a few flames even then, when we walked over to take some pictures. It is in a sad state right now, and while I personally hope it is not damaged beyond repair and restoration, news reports suggest that authorities think it may have to be demolished.

Thomas snapped these photos at around 3:30 PM today, December 17, 2010:

Provo tabernacle from northeast
Provo Tabernacle from southeast. Notice the fire hydrant, with a hose attached. This hose was attached to the fire truck to the right, and the stream of water coming from the ladder is from this hydrant.
Provo tabernacle from south. Notice flames near the center of the photo, and the trees, bent and covered with (probably) ice.
Provo tabernacle from south.
Provo tabernacle from directly south.
Provo Tabernacle, Utah County Courthouse, mountains in the background.
This is a huge news story.
West end of the Provo Tabernacle. The only portion of the main roof still supported.
Sad scene. Southwest corner.
You can get a glimpse of the inside here - and if you look closely, you can see the icicles forming along the roof and on the structure in the front.
"Lex de Azevedo's Gloria: the birth of Christ
A Christmas concert
Dec. 17-18
Free admission
7:30 PM"
yeah.... I think this was canceled.

East end of the Provo Tabernacle.

PS - there is an amazing video here


  1. good pictures! :) Can I copy some of them for our blog?

  2. If you link back to our blog ;o)

  3. I will for sure link it to you! :) Watching it burn taught me a lot about not taking things for granted... we don't have any pictures of it. :(

  4. thank you for your lovely post. it is wonderful to see the building before the tragedy, full of light, music, and praise to God. i have been gathering photos of the Tabernacle to share on the FRIENDS OF HISTORIC PROVO TABERNACLE facebook page. You can see our efforts here: