I too grieve at this historic loss. Our great uncle Ole H. Berg, a great
craftsman and builder and former civic leader, helped build this landmark
edifice. It is our home for the arts and concerts. Our family of ten has all
performed there over the years. The Tabernacle IS PROVO!! So very sad.
Very sad- was there last week and remember thinking what a treasure to have such
a structure- big loss- wonder if any replacement structure will happen- doubt it
So sad, like losing the heart of the community.All is not lost
however.Like the Nauvoo Temple, the Provo Tabernacle can be rebuilt
and made even better than before.After a few tears are shed, it's
time for the community to pull together.Save the brick and whatever
woodwork and other historic pieces are salvageable, and rebuild.
Such a sad end to a beautiful structure. I hope there will be a way to save or
restore this historic building.
I do hope they salvage what they can and rebuild perhaps in a similar fashion as
they did with the Academy/library complex.
I hope they salvage what they can and rebuild in a similar fashion like they did
with the library/Brigham Young Academy building. The Tabernacle is a beautiful
Deep sadness at the loss of such a cornerstone to the community and Utah. In
some way, I hope it can be repaired or rebuilt.
Looking at the pictures, the 3 manual pipe organ in the building is surely a
So sad and such a loss to the community.
I'am so,so sorry to hear about the fire, but as a person who has been in
construction for most of my life I see that all is not lost....we can re-bulid
and forgive me in saying ...but more than likely better than before...somehow I
hope the Lord calls me to help in re-buliding.... it would be one of the biggest
blessings I have ever recieved (except for my children)......I live all the way
in California, but still if I was called I would be there,and in any case if
I,am not there I surely will be there in spirt....God bless all!
Les Metcalf 3rd.ward Ventura,Ca.
Wasn't there a fire alarm system in the building? Modern alarm systems can be
wired direct to fire dispatch.And what of the reports of people in
the building last evening who thought they smelled something? There's a great lesson here --- NEVER ignore a strange, hot, smell. Call the
fire department. Fire fighters would much rather make a dry run than face an
inferno any day. And with modern equipment, like infrared detectors, it's
possible to find smoldering fires before they break out and destroy a
building.This is a lesson for all of us in our homes, too. Are your
sure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working?
so sad! The tabernacle was classic...
Please rebuild. This building is a treasure.
If at all possible, it should definitely be rebuilt. And I'm sure there's a lot
of people like myself who would be willing to contribute to the cause. Gather
the wagons Provo!
What a Loss to Provo one part of history that can never be replaced!!!!community also the state of utahIts now a total loss,as a cause of maybe
This one really tears at my heart. Provo is one town in Utah Vally that hasn't
let the developers run roughshod over everything. University Avenue has real
class and this a terrible disaster.
Wow that is too bad. It is an interesting note that it took 15 years to build.
Man that is a long time and a lot of hard work back in the day I'm sure. Never
been into this building but I can imagine those that had ties to it.
Please rebuild! Please! Very sad day.
I am not a member of the LDS faith, but I DO value our diminishing connections
to our past. I lived 22 years in Utah, and many of the older tabernacles are
beautiful and inspirational. I am saddened by the fire, but I fully agree with
what many have posted: save what can be saved for the sake of the historic
connection, and rebuild if at all humanly possible. God be with you.
I am deeply saddened to learn of the fire that has gutted the much beloved and
historic Provo Tabernacle. The building appears to be a total loss, I am very
pleased however that there has been no loss of life. I am hopeful that prehaps
the building can be salvaged and that it can be updated with a new sprinkler
syatem that will help contain a fire of this magnitude in the future. I will be
following this story closely and should the building be able to be rebuilt and a
community fund drive is started, I will have my checkbook at the ready.
What a shame to lose such a structure.They'll rebuild it, yet much
bigger and more modern while keeping what pieces of the facade they can. The
building, while purposeful and a wonderful piece of history, was hardly able to
handle a Stake in capacity. This will give the Provo Saints a chance to have a
larger building that can accomodate more people. The Church will handle it all
This is almost as sad an occasion as the first time I was ever in the Tabernacle
when they held the funerals for a number of Local Boy Scouts killed in an
accident near Escalante, Utah while on a Camping trip. I will never forget the
outpouring of the spirit of that occassion. Sad that now that Holy building
with all it's many wonderful memories may forever be lost. Truly sad.
As sad as it is to lose a building, especially of historic importance and has
been a large part of soo many lives. In the end it was just a building. It was
the people that made it memorable. I didn't see in the report of anyone hurt
from the fire, so that is good news.
Rebuild it with public subscription and do it now.
So very sad. How can you rebuild pioneer history? Perhaps it should be rebuilt
as a symbol of hope. No matter how bad or irreplaceable things get, there are
other avenues to follow.
Our Stake had it's annual Stake Christmas Music Fireside in that grand building
Sunday evening, which we have done for many years. We also hold Stake
Conferences there. There was an original Minerva Teichert painting in the
building, and the woodwork was exquisite! It also had a magnificent pipe organ.
We are so saddened by the loss of this significant historical treasure.
What heartbreaking news. I know people outside of Utah would be happy to donate
funds to help rebuild it.
Sad day, but I hope it does not have to be a "loss." I agree with
those who say we should rebuild it and preserve the history. Would still be a
historic site and an opportuinty to put beautiful pictures of what it once was
in the new building for future generations to see.
Owl, rebuild it with CHURCH subscription.It is not the taxpayer's
responsibility to rebuild your church, nor is it the responsibility of non-LDS
to do so.Mayor Billings says it's a loss to "everyone".
Untrue. While it's a beautiful building and a tragic loss to many, others
weren't even aware of the building.Would you all react the same way,
if a Mosque had burned?
public subscription has not one thing to do with taxpayer money. it is
members of public offering funds to underwrite the reconstruction of tabernacle.
your hatred is shining through like a cheap flashlight.
Most Truthful,Do you REALLY think that Mayor Billings meant
"everyone", like everyone in the world? Or even everyone in Utah or
Provo. While the generalized statement might confuse some, others understand
what was meant by it.
I'm not LDS, but I love significant historic buildings, so yes, I would put some
money in the pot for rebuilding.
I am listening to Fox 13 right now about this. The LDS Church issued a comment
about it and the sad loss. I am very sad. My Great Great Grandfather John
Peter Rasmus Johnson had a lot of input on the building of that structure.The comment made above about hpyothetically if other non lds structure burned.
The LDS Church would be the first in line handing out Millions of Dollars to
rebuild. The LDS Church donated more than half of the require money to help the
Catholic Church of the Madaline be updated more than a decade ago. The mosque
in Spanish Fork is a very beautiful structure. Not only does the LDS Church
help contribute funds, but all ALL of the religious communities in Utah help.
There is a wonderful sense of community in all of the different religious
Where do we donate to rebuild?Where do we donate to rebuild?Where do
we donate to rebuild?That building means way, way too much to so
many people to not build an even more up to date replica of the original. Let's
get the best custom craftsmen together now. Make it look like it once did. We
will never regret the $$ we donate on this...just like those who built it in the
first place. It's the heart of tne Provo we know and love.
I also hope it's rebuilt.
Hopefully it can be rebuilt, and this time with a strong enough roof to support
a replica of the original clock tower. Then it could look the way it originally
I, too, love historic buildings. The Provo Tabernacle was to Provo what Bruton
Parish Church (which my mother attended) is to Colonial Williamsburg. May it,
please, be rebuilt. Let us know where and when we can donate, just as soon as
the information is available.I, like Liberal Ted, am grateful no
lives were lost. But that building was a repository of the memories of
thousands of living people, like me. My son graduated from BYU Law School in
that building and I shall never forget the deep joy of that moment as he picked
up the torch passed to him by my late grandfather and great-grandfathers, all of
whom served people through the practice of law.The Provo Tabernacle
was a symbol of that joy to our family and to the many other families it has
served so well over all these years. We are mourning.
How sad! I've only been inside a few times, but that building feels like the
heart and soul of Provo.
One of the most beautiful landmarks in the State. I sure hope the L.D.S. church
restores this building. It has taken on a character of it's own over the years.
Sacred ground to walk on so to speak.
I've cried all morning. I have such wonderful, testimony-building memories of
that place. PLEASE Provo leaders - don't let someone get the idea it needs to be
torn down like Hotel Roberts and the old church on 500 West. LDS church leaders
- PLEASE rebuild if you can - it's part of the fabric of our community.
Such a tragic loss! Provo does not have many surviving buildings from the
Mormon Pioneer Era. Even Academy Square and the oldest buildings on modern BYU
campus only date to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. With the old
Tabernacle gone, are there any buildings left built during Brigham Young's
lifetime? Except for a small one-room log cabin at Pioneer Park, I do not know
of any.I like the wisdom expressed by "Liberal Ted". No
mortal building is eternal. But, the countless souls who have been edified
within the tabernacle's walls over the past 150 years are eternal.
Thank you all of you that are responding in a positive way. This is the week
before we celebrate our Saviors Birth and it is a time for joy, not sorrow.
What would have been sad, is if someone had died in this fire, so what a
blessing that it didn't go up in flames tonight when hundreds were in there
performing and watching. That would have been sad.
I too hope that the Provo Tabernacle can be re-built (restored). I lived
in Provo for a whileand worked just down the street on University Avenue,
while I was a BYU student. Saw a number of events there. At one
time there was talk the Provo Temple would be located next to the Provo
Tabernacle, but the space there was not really large enough to accomodate the
Temple in downtown, so the Temple was built where it did get built, North East
of BYU.The Provo Tabernacle is definitely a building worthre-building and Saving!!!God Bless Provo!!
I hope we can rebuild this landmark. I also hope we could figure out a way to
demolish and rebuild much of downtown Provo.
Isn't there insurance?
The loss of the building and it's history and memories are almost too hard to
verbalize- but what has not been mentioned are all the personal instruments of
the professional musicians that were inside, the $100,000 grand piano, the organ
and it's pipes, the Minerva Teichert on the loser back wall- the thousands and
thousands of children that were held in the turret stairways- cant's write
To "Most Truthful": The Provo Tabernacle is on the National Register
of Historic Places. So you see that its architectural and historical
significance is recognized outside the LDS church.Whether it's
restored or must be completely rebuilt, it should be as true to the original as
possible. Please no pathetic postmodern thing that claims to have been inspired
by the original architecture while clearly despising it in favor of modernist
notions. It is our disenchantment of modernism that leads us to treasure the
historic charm of these old buildings.If there's any silver lining,
it is this: The organ needed replacing, and it was going to be an uphill battle
to get the funding. Perhaps now a truly concert-worthy organ can be included in
the rebuilt structure.And maybe we could even rebuild it to include
the central spire that it originally had so many years ago.
Even though I'm not LDS I'm really sorry to see this historic structure be
destroyed. It holds the memories of generations of people and it is a sad loss.
I smell arson and a fraudulent insurance claim...let's wait and see.
I played the aging organ in the Tabernacle for many years during visitor tours,
and am very sad that the building is a destroyed shell especially after the
beautiful $1M renovations. The wiring back then seemed old, even the wheezing,
antiquated organ's. Maybe a short triggered the fire. Obviously, fire-prevention
measures there were either inadequate, or the blaze too intense for them. If
electrical aging was the cause, it shows that infrastructure renovation is as
important as roofing, windows, etc., even though the latter's beauty is what's
visible.I also am very willing to contribute to a reconstruction
fund. Hopefully there is insurance that'll help, and agree that, if it were
rebuilt, it should be in the same style. But, that's for the Presiding Bishopric
to decide.The structure in Spanish Fork the Church contributed to
was the Krishna Hindu temple, not a mosque, but it does show helps other faiths,
even non-Christian ones.
Insurance will replace the old building better than new.
Larry, the Church is self-insured. That's just a fancy way of saying that it has
figured out that it's cheaper to pay for everything itself than to pay the
insurance premiums.Oh, and about the mosque thing that people are
bringing up: If there were any mosques of historical significance around, we
would value them just as much. The LDS Church assisted the Hare Krishnas in
building their temple in Spanish Fork, and that place is very popular with the
LDS community, at least during their chalk extravaganza. Earlier this year, this
newspaper highlighted the 100th anniversary of the Catholic cathedral in Salt
Lake. More examples could be given, but LDS people aren't so self-centered as to
only value their own buildings.Oh, and let's be careful about
calling arson. The article says that there was a lot of electrical equipment in
the building the night before, and someone smelled a smell "like a hot glue
Actually, the Church is self insured for (I believe) the first million dollars.
After that, it does carry catastrophic insurance.If I were a betting
person, however, I would guess that the Church will rebuild and it will be a
much better building in functionality, technology, comfort, and visibility that
it was before. Insurance won't cover all of those upgrades so it will cost much
more than the million to replace it. When the announcements are made that it
will be replaced, I hope all that have expressed sadness at the loss of this
building will quietly and gladly check "other" on their tithing
donation slips and indicate that they want the money to go to the rebuilding of
the Provo Tabernacle. I'm sure the money would be appreciated.Just
like a Phoenix, out of the it's ashes it will rise and be new again.
So how DID the fire start? Didn't someone have custody of the building?Somone mentioned the possibility of arson. Arson or not when on earth
will the authorities start to seriously address the growing problem of hateful
or sick pyromaniacs. The last time I heard anything of punishment for such was
that a woman in Ogden, who had set fire to more than one empty house was not
incarcerated but merely doing public service. When are we going to wake up and
treat this problem as the extremely serious threat to life, liberty and property
that it assuredely is?
cactusflats: Most of the buildings downtown Prov are on the historical register
and can not be demolished.
Most Truthful and Patriotic : It is very true that this building is a loss to
everyone. It won't be taxpayers who pay for it to be rebuilt, it will be the
church members. It was the oldest historical building in Utah
One more comment: Let's try to be as positive as we can, not baselessly blame
the destruction on arson or hate, and just ignore the insensitive comments. It's
equally, though just as little likely, that innocently careless electrical
overloading by equipment caused something to smolder. Again, it seems to me that
the wiring in the Tabernacle was old and frayed. Now that it's gutted, I choose
to look forward and hope it'll be rebuilt earthquake resistant & etc. I feel
really sad for the musicians and technicians who lost instruments and equipment
in the blaze. Had I a valuable instrument, I wouldn't leave it out of my sight.
Hopefully, THOSE ITEMS were insured...
I would hope they would rebuild the building in all its glory. However, this
will be quite costly, and until a price tag is known, I can understand why the
Church is hesitant to commit to that course.There is also the fact
that in rebuilding it it will have to comply with the Americans with
Disabilities Act. I have been in the Provo Tabernalce at least half a dozen
times, but off the top of my head can not think if such compliance was present
or not, and so am not sure how this would effect the re-building.There is also the question of whether the tabernacle as it existed was the
most useful building. However, it seemed to be well used, there are enough
demands for it to justify it, and its pure architectural awesomeness outweighed
any other potential draw backs.
I once sang with a BYU choir at the tabernacle. It was summer term, our fall
term concert was in the De Jong Concert Hall, but attendance was lower, and also
we may have in the summer spent some of our prep-time outside, which is not as
popular a place in the winter. Anyway, it was the non-attidion choir, so in
winter term there were actually two choirs performing in the same concert while
summer term there was just one choir.
I have to say I hope they re-build the building as is. I think it is nice to
have something that harkens back to 19th century Provo in the down-town. I also
think the park-like area on the north side of the tabernacle is a nice touch.
Arson?Given the other 3 fires (SLC and (CO?)) at LDS chapels lately,
it makes you wonder....
Is there a place where we may contribute, not only to rebuilding the tabernacle,
but also to those whose instruments and livlihood have been lost? I
hope we will all also look around us at the buned out relics of human beings we
often see, and with some determination make an effort to make them whole, as
well. "He was someones's little baby, he was some mother's son, once
he was fair, once he was young. . ."
People let's please not be naive - the church is not going to save the Provo
Tabernacle unless we get involved and get involved NOW! Remember the Coalville
Tabernacle being torn down in the middle of the night? Remember the Salt Lake
Theater? The Kolob (Springville) Chapel recently got raized in spite of minimal
damage. LET'S NOT BE NAIVE!!!
I remember well the controversy over the Coalville Tabernacle. More recently is
the Kolob (Springville) Chapel that was torn down in spite of merely minimal
damage. Fortunately, the Kaysville Chapel was recently saved because enough
support was raised. My own chapel the historic 800 So. chapel in Orem, has
survived over the years survived only by the skin of it's teeth.
My understanding of what happened with the Vernal Tabernacle / Temple is that it
ended up costing the church far more than expected, and being a far greater
headache than expected. I heard that the situation with the Vernal Tabernacle
was part of what kept the church from wanting to be involved in the BYU Academy
Building. Fortunately The Academy was saved because of community support. If
there is any possibility of saving the Provo Tabernacle it will definitely have
to be because of community support. It needs to be rallied soon SOON however.
We don't want another Coalville Tabernacle or Kolob Chapel on any of our
consciences because we step step in and try to fight. Correct me if
I'm wrong with what I've heard on any of these stories. Let this
not become another parking lot for Nu Skin!!!!! :((((((((((((
MT and P, First off, Mayor Buillings is no longer in office. Secondly, while the loss is felt most heavily by members of The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this building has been used for inter-faith
services, for concerts that were not sponsored by a specific religious
organization and were aimed at a broad range of residents, and for other events
and activities that benefitted people of many faiths or not faith at all.Beyond this, I have seen no suggestion that tax money be sued to rebuild
it. If the government were to take that course, they should buy the land and
then re-build the building. If The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
retains the land, a combination of Church money with possibly voluntary
donations from other groups should be used.
Looking at the box to leave a comment and all of a sudden I am speechless. I
would have to agree with Ciaobello, I am just heartsick.