This is the Provo Tabernacle.
It is located on University Avenue and 100 West in Provo, Utah.
It was completed in 1886, a beautiful work of pioneering architecture and craftsmanship.
It originally had a large central spire that had to be removed in the 1950's due to increasing weight on the roof causing fear of eventual collapse. It was magnificent!
The interior contains the original wooden pews, uncomfortable to be sure,
but a treasure of carving and craftsmanship.
The stained glass windows were meticulously cleaned and restored in the 1990's
for the centennial celebration.
The organ is original and has a beautiful sound. One prominent local organist said
it is one of the best he has ever played.
The tabernacle not only hosted religious services through the decades, (Dee and I attended our BYU married Stake conferences here) but community meetings,concerts, and productions. BYU used it for graduation services for individual colleges as well. It was here that I watched my sweetie receive his Bachelor's degree from the college of Health and Human Performance.
Sarah & Brittany with their "Papa", Dee's father Bob, watch their Daddy graduate!
On Friday morning, December 17, 2010 we awoke to this news...
I watched in shock and grief as the morning rolled on. The fire was reported at 2:45 a.m. by a security guard. Fire officials believe the fires started in the west side near the choir seats. The production of Lex de Azevedo's "Gloria" had held a dress rehearsal earlier on Thursday evening. No cause has been determined yet.
It made me stop and think. This is a tragic loss to Provo and to the church historically. We love these tangible links to our past. I loved going in that old building and knowing my great-great grandfather had entered the very same doors. It is important for us to remember those who went before us and sacrificed so much to make us what we are today. But in the Eternal scheme of things it is only an earthly possession. Like all of our belongings and heirlooms will, it has returned to ashes and dust. What is important truly, is the spirit of that building, the history, the sacrifice. I hope the shell of the building can be saved, that the building can be restored to some degree. It has, however, helped me to ponder on what is truly important this holiday season.
Now for the JOY! My family is all together and under one roof! Sarah and Rachel have come home for Christmas and the house is full of laughter and the spirit of love. My children and husband give me great happiness. The spirit of Christ enters in at such times and fills me with warmth. These are the possessions we will take with us when we leave this life, our families, the love, and the joy!