Mormon baptistry from 1870s excavated at Provo Tabernacle site

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  • Sophie 62 spring city, UT
    Nov. 15, 2012 10:01 p.m.

    There are a few good photos of the real Old Tabernacle, which stood on the ground north of the current temple site tabernacle. In fact, for awhile, the two buildings coexisted on the block before some ...people...decided it must be torn down. According to the state historical records I've read, there was no particular reason to tear it down, that was just what people did in those days. At any rate, it was a beautiful building and very sad to have it gone.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Nov. 15, 2012 7:00 p.m.

    What makes it of special interest to me is that it was covered up over time - this makes the treasure more exciting to find, as opposed to it just sitting there in the open with neon lights pointing to it.

    My wife and I moved into a 120 year old farm house. Sometimes we complain about what we find when we try to dig for a garden, or to put a fence around the garden; yet, at the same time it is almost exciting to see what our shovel turns up each time I turn over a shovel full of dirt.

    Why was the baptistry covered up? What was there before that? Its intriguing, to say the least. And I too am thrilled that the Tabernacle shell could be saved to shield the new temple. Sometimes there can be happy architectural endings.

  • Twin Sister LINDON, UT
    Nov. 15, 2012 11:58 a.m.

    What a wonderful story! It makes me wonder if some of my ancestors were baptized in that baptistry because my great, great, great-grandfather, Andrew Hunter Scott, was the fifth mayor of Provo and lived in Provo during this time. Thank you for sharing this inspiring find with us readers.

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    Nov. 15, 2012 11:16 a.m.

    The tension between historic preservation and future use is ongoing and universal. After the "new" building was constructed to replace the older, obsolete building, then the space that the old building occupied had higher value for other uses. An obsolete building is a liability in many different ways. Sometimes those liabilities far out weight historical value. Sometimes the are nearly equal and a tough decision must be made. Sometimes the balance clearly tips toward preservation.
    As a comparison of different families’ garages clearly demonstrates, one man’s treasure is another man’s trash.
    I'm just glad the balance tipped to preserving the shell of the old "new" tabernacle and repurposing it as a temple.

  • DesertBrat60 Indio, CA
    Nov. 15, 2012 10:46 a.m.

    I am wondering why his area was covered up in the first place? Even when it was originally buried it was a historical site. It's almost depressing to think this was done to such a beloved sacred site of the early Saints.
    Maybe another story to say why it was covered up originally, & when. Thanks!

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    Nov. 14, 2012 10:55 p.m.

    I'd love to witness this

  • Chachi Charlottesville, VA
    Nov. 14, 2012 10:49 p.m.

    Please be more precise: You refer to the Provo Tabernacle, which is being remodeled into a temple, as "the old Provo Tabernacle." But there were actually two tabernacles built at the site: the Old Provo Tabernacle, whose foundations are being excavated, and the "new" Provo Tabernacle, which is being converted into a temple. The "new" tabernacle may be old, but referring to it as the "old Provo Tabernacle" becomes very confusing, especially in the context of an archaeological dig which is investigating the remains of a different structure known by that name.