From the 1850s to the 1950s, Latter-day Saints built about 100 tabernacles in communities across the western United States. They were primarily places of worship but also served as a gathering place for the community.
While more than half of the 100-plus-year-old historic jewels have been razed or sold over the years, many have not only survived the century but are still functioning houses of worship.
With the walls of the Provo Tabernacle being converted into the Provo City Center Temple in 2016, this incomplete list features many of those historic Latter-day Saint tabernacles.
Source material for this list includes Richard W. Jackson's book, "The Meeting Places of the Latter-day Saints," and a 2007 presentation by Scott R. Christensen, an area acquisitions manager in the LDS Church History Department who has researched tabernacles in recent years.
The Latter-day Saints created temporary settlements in Iowa while on their way to Utah. While in Kanesville (now Council Bluffs) in 1847, they built a large log meetinghouse. Another one was built at the Big Pigeon settlement in 1849. These were referred to as tabernacles, according to LDS Church historian Scott Christensen.
A replica of the Kanesville Tabernacle shown here was built in 1996.
Construction on the first Salt Lake Tabernacle began in May 1851, on the southwest corner of Temple Square, where the Assembly Hall now stands. It was dedicated April 6, 1852.
As church membership increased, this old tabernacle become inadequate and was demolished in 1877 to make way for the Salt Lake Tabernacle, also known as the Assembly Hall.
Construction on this Provo structure began in 1857. It was designed by Truman O. Angell. It was dedicated in 1867 and remained in use until it was demolished in 1919.
Construction of this immense adobe tabernacle began in downtown Ogden in 1856, and it was in use by 1857. It was later dedicated in 1869 when all debts were settled. Its design was similar to the Old Salt Lake Tabernacle.
The Weber Stake Tabernacle was remodeled in 1897 with a Renaissance revival style by W.W. Fife, the son of the original architect. It was torn down in 1969 to make way for the Ogden Temple.
Construction on the Bountiful Tabernacle began in 1857. Augustus A. Farnham was the architect. It was also referred to as the Davis Stake Tabernacle.
In February 1975, LDS Church leaders announced the building would be razed. Significant opposition arose, prompting further discussion, and the decision was reversed. The Bountiful Tabernacle is the oldest surviving Mormon tabernacle and continues to serve as a meetinghouse and stake center.
The Nephi Stake built this structure between 1860-65. The cupola was large enough to hold a band of 30 musicians who performed from the perch on special occasions.
It was later called the Juab Stake Tabernacle and sold to Nephi City in 1947. It was demolished in 1949.
Members in Kaysville built a simple adobe tabernacle in 1862.
When that structure was replaced by the current Kaysville Tabernacle in 1912, it was remodeled to be a community opera house.
The construction of the St. George Tabernacle, a Colonial revival style of architecture, was overseen by the Southern States mission from 1863 to 1877.
It was at the pulpit of the St. George Tabernacle that President Lorenzo Snow promised rain if the Latter-day Saints would pay their tithing in 1899.
The St. George Tabernacle is still owned by the LDS Church and used for stake and regional functions. Tours are available.
The Parowan Tabernacle was built between 1862-68.
The building was in decline until rescued by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers in the early 1930s and was transformed into a museum.
The dome-shaped Salt Lake Tabernacle, built between 1863 and 1867, is one of the most recognizable religious structures in the United States.
Brigham Young, a carpenter by trade, innovated a "turtle back" design that may have been influenced by the European architecture he saw as a missionary in England, according to Mormonnewsroom.org.
The Draper LDS ward was formed in 1856 and met in at least two simple vernacular structures before one of comfortable size was completed in 1890. But the new building could not accommodate social events. They wanted something that could compare to the Salt Lake Tabernacle 20 miles to the north.
They went on to build a significant structure with a large oval dance floor with capacity for 700 dancers, "a commodious lobby, ticket office, dressing rooms, check room and refreshment parlor containing a soda fountain," one reporter wrote, according to Christensen.
By the time of his photo in 1959, the complex was in decline and likely didn't last for many more years.
The residents of Teasdale, Wayne County, Utah, also wanted something fancy like the Salt Lake Tabernacle. They erected a nice meetinghouse in 1910 and a log structure for the Relief Society.
Then they built this structure with a dance floor and theatrical stage in 1917. At the dedication, the residents celebrated the fact that "there will be no necessity for the young people to leave their own towns to seek pleasure and amusement elsewhere," according to LDS Church historian Scott Christensen.
The Franklin Idaho Tabernacle is one of a handful of buildings called "ward tabernacles," not big enough to accommodate a stake.
It was built in 1865 but suffered a roof collapse in 1875.
In 1983, parts of the eventual building were moved to another site and used by the city; other parts were demolished. A new stake center was built on the site.
The Cache County Tabernacle construction was started in 1865 and continued until 1878. It was dedicated in 1891.
The Logan Tabernacle occupies an entire city block on main street in downtown Logan. It is still used for LDS Church functions and community events.
Brigham Young selected the site, and work on the Box Elder Stake Center began in 1865. After several years of little progress, the building was completed in 1879 but not dedicated until 1890.
In 1896, a faulty furnace sparked flames that completely consumed everything but the outer walls. It was rebuilt that year with red brick buttresses for added strength. The interior was also remodeled with the pulpit and stand moved to the west end.
This tabernacle is still in use today, hosting stake conferences and other functions.
The Ephraim Tabernacle was only a tabernacle between 1870 and 1877. It was torn down in 1954.
The Payson Tabernacle was built from 1870-72.
It was destroyed by fire in 1902.
The Assembly Hall, also referred to as the Salt Lake Stake Tabernacle, is located on the southwest corner of Temple Square.
It was built between 1877 and 1882 with Gothic-style architecture and stained-glassed windows.
The Manti Tabernacle, a fine example of Greek revival architecture, was built from 1878 to 1882. It was dedicated in 1903. Renovations have taken place in 1930, 1958, 1985 and 2015.
This is a conjectural drawing of the Snowflake Arizona Tabernacle prepared by Richard W. Jackson.
This structure was built 1883-84 by the Eastern Arizona Stake. It was remodeled in 1939 and burned in 1941. It was rebuilt in 1942 and is still in use by the LDS Church today.
This famous tabernacle, built of brick and stone trim, was started in 1877 and completed in 1883. It was dedicated by President Lorenzo Snow on March 7, 1899.
A sister to the Assembly Hall, this building was razed in 1970 amid much controversy and opposition. A new stake center replaced it on the same site. The stained-glass windows and ceiling paintings were carefully removed and reinstalled in the new building.
Although gone, this historic building is still referenced today in national publications as a key example in preserving old buildings.
Construction of the Morgan Tabernacle took place from 1878 to 1879.
Additions came in 1936, 1953 and 1980. It is still in use today.
Like the Franklin Idaho Tabernacle, the Moroni Tabernacle was a ward building, not a stake building.
The tabernacle was built in 1882 and demolished in 1956. It was replaced on the same site with a new meetinghouse.
The Smithfield Tabernacle was built in 1881. A 1954 remodel removed the central tower and the buttress caps, and the interior was rebuilt to function as a recreational center until 1987.
It was sold to Smithfield City, which still uses the structure today.
Built between 1881 and 1885, the Panguitch Stake Tabernacle served as a ward or stake meetinghouse until 1978, when it was replaced with a new stake building.
It continued to function for a number of purposes, including a bishop's storehouse, as late as April 1982. It was demolished that same year.
The Latter-day Saints in Richfield worked on the Sevier Stake Tabernacle from 1888-1899 because it burned when partly completed and raising funds was a challenge.
Sadly, by 1912, the structure was considered unsafe. At the last public meeting held there, a large piece of ceiling fell, causing considerable fright and nearly creating a panic, Jackson wrote in his book.
It was torn down a few years later, said Scott R. Christensen, a church historian.
"It's the worst seismic region in the state (of Utah)," Christensen said. "It was stunning but unstable. We're lucky to have a photo."
Like Franklin and Moroni, Cedar City's Tabernacle functioned as a ward building.
It was built in 1882 and replaced with a new meetinghouse in 1932.
Started in 1883 and completed in 1896, Provo's second tabernacle was designed in the Victorian Gothic revival style. Brigham Young said the first one was too small, so this was was built to a larger scale, according to Jackson's book.
The tabernacle lost its central tower in 1917. The building underwent a general renovation in 1951. There were attempts to have the tabernacle demolished in the 1960s but to no avail.
In the early morning hours of Dec. 17, 2010, flames consumed all but the brick walls of the Provo Tabernacle. Almost a year later, President Thomas S. Monson announced in general conference that the church would rebuild the historic icon into a temple. The open house is scheduled for January.
The Bear Lake Tabernacle in Paris, Idaho, was built from 1884 to 1888. It was dedicated Sept. 15, 1889, by President Wilford Woodruff. This building is still in use today and is listed in the national registry of historic places.
Mostly farmers and ranchers, the Saints there were not wealthy, church historian Scott R. Christensen said.
"They were practical people. You would have expected them to build a vernacular structure, a rectangle with a roof on it would have done the job," he said. "But they wanted to inspire their community. They wanted this to be a building that represented a house of worship."
They secured the services of Joseph Don Carlos Young, Brigham Young's son and one of the best architects in the region. They spent years stockpiling materials as they awaited approval from church leaders. The go-ahead came in 1884 after the Logan Temple was completed. The tabernacle was was completed four years later and is still in use today.
"In the dead of winter, when the ice on Bear Lake was as thick as it was going to be, they loaded the stone they had quarried during the summer and fall on wagons and hauled it across the lake, and you end up with this magnificent structure," Christensen said. "I think kudos to them. They had a vision for something that was much grander than themselves, and they made it happen."
This is a conjectural drawing of the San Luis Tabernacle in Manassa, Colorado, prepared by Richard W. Jackson.
Constructed from 1887-1895, it survived until it was demolished in the 1940s.
The Wasatch Stake Tabernacle was built between 1887-1889 in Heber City. It served as a stake center from that time until 1928.
The construction of other church buildings over the years eventually left it unused, and there was an effort to demolish it in the 1950s. It was later acquired by Heber City and turned into an office building.
The Unitah Stake Tabernacle was constructed in Vernal from 1887-1900. The faithful saints of that area donated seven years of toil and sacrifice to complete the structure, according to "The First 100 Temples," by Chad Hawkins.
The building was dedicated in 1907 by President Joseph F. Smith, who said "he would not be surprised if a temple were built here some day," Hawkins wrote.
The tabernacle served the members for decades until it began to deteriorate in the 1970s.
After touring the old building, the First Presidency announced it would be remodeled into a temple. The Vernal Temple was dedicated in 1997.
This is a conjectural drawing of the Willard Utah Ward Tabernacle, prepared by Richard W. Jackson.
Construction took place from 1866-1871 and was finished in 1888.
In 1973, the structure was demolished and replaced with a larger meetinghouse.
This is a conjectural drawing of the Maricopa Stake Tabernacle in Mesa, Arizona, prepared by Richard W. Jackson.
It was built from 1895-1896. It was sold in 1960 and demolished in 1967.
This is a conjectural drawing of the Malad Stake Tabernacle, prepared by Richard W. Jackson. It was built in Portage, Utah, from 1882-1886.
In 1911, the stake decided to move the stake center to Malad and a different building.
Another structure designed for a ward, the Randolph Tabernacle was built in 1901.
It took five years to build the Lehi Tabernacle, starting in 1900 and finishing in 1905. It was dedicated in 1910. The structure was demolished in 1978.
The Oakley Idaho Tabernacle, also called the Cassia Stake Tabernacle, was completed in 1902 and was used until 1953.
An organ that was in the old Oakley Tabernacle now sits in the town museum.
The Wellsville Utah Ward Tabernacle, built in 1902, functioned as a ward meetinghouse for most of its lifetime until 1979, when the Wellsville Stake was organized. In 1981, it was sold to Wellsville City.
The first Granite Stake Tabernacle, left, was constructed in 1903 and dedicated by President Joseph F. Smith. It was later renamed the Grant Stake Tabernacle after boundary changes and later demolished in 1962, according to Jackson.
The second and current Granite Stake Tabernacle, both photos on the right, was started in 1929 and completed in 1930. It was dedicated in 1938 by LDS Church President Heber J. Grant. It is still in use today.
This photo of the Oneida Stake Tabernacle in Preston, Idaho, appeared in the June 1914 Improvement Era. The building existed from 1904 to 1939. At one point, a opera house was added to the old meetinghouse.
The Pleasant Grove Tabernacle, built in 1908, was originally used by the Pleasant Grove Ward. It became the Timpanogos Stake Tabernacle in 1928.
It was demolished in 1950.
This photograph of the Nebo Stake Tabernacle in Payson, Utah, was published in 1914 in the Improvement Era magazine.
The tabernacle was built and dedicated in 1907. Stake conference functions moved to another building across the street in 1930. The old tabernacle was then only used for larger public gatherings and conferences until 1964. It was demolished in the late 1980s.
This arts-and-crafts-style structure was completed in 1906 and dedicated in 1907.
It remained in use until 1944.
This rock tabernacle was commenced in 1906 and completed in 1909. The architect was Wayne Stake patriarch Benjamin F. Brown, who lived in Loa at the time.
The rock was quarried from the hills south of Loa. It was dedicated in 1909 by President Joseph F. Smith.
In 1946, a large cultural hall was added. The roof was replaced in 1963. Additional classrooms and stake offices were added in 1983. The building is still in use today.
Built from 1909 to 1914, the Alpine Stake Tabernacle has been an important part of the American Fork community for decades.
This structure was completed in 1909.
The tower has suffered from the severe winters and in 1943 was rebuilt at the same original height, with additional classrooms.
The building was remodeled in 1971 and 1984.
Using plans similar to the Nebo Stake Tabernacle, the Rexburg Tabernacle was built in 1911 and dedicated in 1912. It was remodeled in 1926 and again in 1950. It continued to serve church members until it was sold in 1980.
This tabernacle was built in 1910-11 and lasted until 1945.
This structure was constructed in 1914. It served church members for 47 years until it was replaced with a new building in 1961.
This historic structure was started in 1912 and dedicated in 1914.
It's interesting to note that in 1948, a special funeral service was held in this tabernacle for the four sons of valley residents Alben and Gunda Borgstrom, all of whom died while fighting in World War II. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the military to send a fifth brother, Boyd, home from the Pacific.
LDS Church President George Albert Smith, Utah Gov. Herbert Maw and Gen. Mark W. Clark, who directed the U.S. invasion of Italy and subsequently was commander of the Presidio in San Francisco, attended the service.
President Thomas S. Monson later spoke of the funeral in his October 1999 general conference talk, "Becoming Our Best Selves."
Built in 1915, this building in Grayson, Utah, was not technically a tabernacle, although it provided some stake functions from 1978-82.
The Montpelier Idaho Stake Tabernacle was built in 1918 and recently received a preservation award. It is still in use today.
A similar building was constructed in Blackfoot, Idaho.
The St. Anthony Tabernacle was built in 1925.
In 1974, stake functions moved into a multi-ward and stake building. The old tabernacle was sold to local interests in 1982.
This monumental building was built in 1927 on the corner of Manhattan Place and Country Club Drive.
At the time of its construction, the cost was around $250,000. This was perhaps the most elegant of the California buildings constructed during this period and was a landmark to show California residents the LDS Church was firmly established.
The Ely Nevada Stake Tabernacle functioned from 1927 to 1956.
The Honolulu Hawaii Stake Tabernacle, which features an exterior mosaic of Jesus Christ, was dedicated by President David O. McKay, then second counselor in the First Presidency, about four months before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. In the years that followed the attack, the tabernacle on the island of Oahu became a spiritual sanctuary for Latter-day Saint servicemen.
For more on the history of the Honolulu Tabernacle, read "A Refuge in Oahu" by Matthew O. Richardson.
In 1953-55, Ogden received a new tabernacle built adjacent to the 1856 structure. It would be the last newly constructed building that would represent tabernacles as a building type in the church, Christensen said.
"In the postwar era, modern construction techniques utilizing reinforced concrete, steel girders and glue-lam beams made it possible and affordable to construct meetinghouses large enough to host stake conferences," Christensen said. "With the addition of a small wing to hold stake offices, such structures could then do everything that the tabernacles of the past had done, albeit with less flair."
The Ogden Tabernacle was remodeled without a tower when the Ogden Temple was renovated and rededicated in 2014.
An important building that led to change was the Oakland Interstake Center, which was built years before the Oakland California Temple was dedicated in 1964.
It was intended for the use of multiple stakes in the Bay Area and is largely how Mormons came to adopt the new term "stake center," Christensen said.
There are more tabernacles and historic church buildings, but photos were not unavailable.
Springville, Utah (1855-1892)
Richmond, Utah (1904-about 1945)
Union, La Grand, Oregon (1908-1972)
Idaho Falls, Idaho (1915-1987)
Rigby, Idaho (1917-1959)
Burley, Idaho (1919-1954)
Blackfoot, Idaho (1920-1972)
Thatcher, Arizona (1921-1979)
Oakland, California (1923-1959)
Boise, Idaho (1924-1972)
Twin Falls, Idaho (1932-1963)
Shelley, Idaho (1931-1975)
Jacksonville, Florida (1925-1976)
Atlanta Georgia District and mission home (1926-1954)
Minidoka Stake, Rupert, Idaho (1937 to now)