Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Springville Fourth Ward

This building was completed in 1936. I haven't seen another chapel that looks even remotely similar in its structure.

 (Source: Church History Library)

You'll notice that the only main difference now is the unsightly vent above the left window, and the plainer doors.

The interior has lots of stained glass and some carvings in the chapel. I will post pictures of those items soon.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Preservation Predictions: Which Temples, Tabernacles, and Meetinghouses are Safe?

Note: The 'Preservation Predictions' series examines what historic Mormon buildings may be renovated/preserved in the future. For all of the posts in this series, click here.

It's no secret that some of the Church's most elegant architecture has been destroyed because of a variety of reasons. While this has improved drastically in recent years, the destruction of historic buildings in Paradise, Teasdale, Parowan, or Cedar City in the past few years still suggests that historic architecture in the Church can still be threatened. (This is beside the point, but one member posted a walk through of the Cedar City chapel before it was demolished, and the stained glass in the chapel was lovely).

But there are a few building that are definitely safe--58, to be exact. These are buildings that will likely never be sold or destroyed, and the a Church archivist stated that "We're exceptionally careful not to remove important architectural [or] historical elements." The list includes 20 tabernacles, 10 temples, 23 meetinghouses, and 5 other buildings. The article only states that the Granite Tabernacle is on the list. What other buildings are likely on the list? I tried to list the ones I thought were most likely below.

Temples (10)

Ones I'm fairly certain are on the list:
(Image Source: Mormon Newsroom)
  1. St. George Utah (drastically renovated in the past, but I assume this list was created only recently, so future renovations will likely be more sensitive to the original architecture. This assumption applies to other renovated temples below)
  2. Logan Utah
  3. Manti Utah
  4. Salt Lake Utah
  5. Laie Hawaii (renovated in 2010; progression restored)
  6. Cardston Alberta
  7. Mesa Arizona
  8. Idaho Falls Idaho (to be renovated in 2015-16)
Possible ones for the remaining 2 slots:
  • Los Angeles California (It's a landmark temple, has huge murals, and even has a priesthood assembly hall)
  • Washington D.C.
  • Nauvoo Illinois (It's not the original, but maybe it's on the list to make sure it adheres as closely as possible to its original architecture)
  • San Diego California (Also a landmark)
  • Vernal Utah (Because of its historic roots)
Tabernacles (20)

This one is particularly difficult, because the definition of "tabernacle" varies, and estimates on the number of tabernacles built range from about 50 to over 100. I use Richard Jackson's fairly reliable list.

Ones I'm fairly certain are on the list:
(Image Source)
  1. Salt Lake
  2. Assembly Hall
  3. Kaysville
  4. Bountiful
  5. Provo (at the time the article was written, the Provo Tabernacle had not burned down)
  6. St. George
  7. Logan
  8. Manti
  9. Paris, ID
  10. Brigham City
  11. Granite Stake (article confirms this)
Possible ones for the remaining 9 slots:
  • Morgan
  • Richfield
  • Star Valley (Afton, WY)
  • Loa (renovated in 1983)
  • Garland (renovated in 2000)
  • Randolph (renovated in 1984)
  • Alpine (renovated in 1996)
  • Hollywood (Los Angeles, CA; renovated in 2003)
  • Honolulu
  • Ogden (renovated in 2014)
  • Malad City, ID
  • Montpelier, ID (currently being renovated)
I don't want any of the ones on the 'possible' list to be torn down; but that's 3 too many. That's not even counting many other tabernacles that I just assumed have a low chance of being on the list (Snowflake, AZ; Blanding; etc.). So at least some of these tabernacles are still unprotected.

Meetinghouses (23)

This one is particularly hard, because of the sheer number of historic meetinghouses. However, I can guess some of them:

Ones I'm fairly certain are on the list:
(Detail from Brigham City 3rd Ward)
  1. Spring City Ward
  2. Ogden 4th Ward (renovated 2011-12)
  3. Cedar City 1st Ward (renovated 2011-12)
  4. Logan 1st Ward
  5. Logan 4th Ward
  6. Farmington Ward (Primary Association organized there)
  7. Brigham City 3rd Ward (historic First Vision stained glass)
  8. Salt Lake Second Ward (historic First Vision stained glass)
  9. Salt Lake Eighth Ward
  10. Salt Lake Tenth Ward
  11. Salt Lake Liberty Ward
  12. Bonneville Ward (SLC)
  13. Garden Park Ward (SLC; renovated 2008)
  14. Manavu Ward (Provo)
  15. Wells Ward (SLC)
  16. Yale Ward (recently renovated)
  17. Forest Dale Ward (SLC)
Manavu Ward Chapel
 Possible ones for the remaining 6 slots:
  • Centerville 1st Ward 
  • Idaho Falls 5th Ward
  • Blackfoot 1st Ward
  • University of Utah Ward
  • Whittier Ward
  • Beaver Ward
  • Tremonton 1st Ward
  • Timpanogos Ward (Orem)
  • Parowan 3rd Ward
  • Salt Lake 27th Ward
  • Salt Lake 20th Ward
Again, because of the number of unique meetinghouses, I'm sure there are many more that could be on this list. This one is the most worrisome--even with this tiny list that I came up with, there are at least 3 that are unprotected.

Other Buildings (5)

The article simply lists that 5 "other buildings are on the list."

Buildings likely on the list:
  1. Colonia Juarez Stake Academy (Academia Juarez, a high school in Mexico)
  2. Maeser Building (BYU Campus; recently renovated)
  3. Heber J. Grant Building (BYU Campus)
  4. Joseph Smith Memorial Building (formerly the Hotel Utah)
  5. Church Administration Building
Other possible buildings:
  •   Brimhall Building (BYU Campus) 
This one is difficult. I'm not sure if I've left out any other significant structures that don't fall under the category of meetinghouses, tabernacles, or temples.

I'm glad that this list has been created. I hope that in the future, it can be expanded so that more buildings can have that special protection.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

BYU: Allen Hall

(Source: BYU Archives)

Located on the southwest corner of campus, Allen Hall was BYU's first real dormitory, built in 1938. It was followed closely after by Amanda Knight Hall.

Around 1960, it housed missionaries for the LTM program (a predecessor to the MTC, now located on the opposite corner of BYU's campus). Now, it houses the Office of Public Archaeology, the Museum of Peoples and Cultures, and a few other programs.

You'll notice the tall wooden decoration--I'm assuming that has something to do with the museum. You'll also notice the box covered with a trap--it looks like it's something people use to practice digging up artifacts.

The interior really looks like it is housing a ton of items:

I am a bit concerned for this building. Supposedly, the Museum of People and Cultures will shortly be transferred to the Outdoors Unlimited Building north of campus. What will that mean for this building? I hope that it isn't torn down.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Provo Fifth and Eighth Wards

Next in the "Modern Architecture" category is the Provo 5th and 8th Ward Chapel, which has some great exterior elements that I enjoyed looking at. It is located at 200 S 500 E in Provo.

I talked with some members in the ward who appreciated the architecture but also noted that it's a very small building (and parking lot) to be housing 3 wards.

Monday, December 22, 2014

"Not Pioneer" Posts Relabelled as "Modern Architecture"; Other Categories

The posts that were formally labelled "Not Pioneer" have now been renamed as "Modern Architecture." The previous "Not Pioneer" label was meant to reflect the original title of this blog, LDS Pioneer Architecture. I feel like a series titled "Modern Architecture" is much more intuitive.

These posts are occasional, and highlight architecture that is more recent (usually post-1950) that still has elements that I like. So far, I've covered buildings in Springville and Provo, but several more are on the way--I'm a little backlogged, but better that than running out of buildings to document!

I've also had a couple of posts that are labelled "Architecture Thoughts." I probably won't use this category very often, but it's when I notice some distinct LDS Architectural theme, motif, artist, etc., and want to focus on them specifically.

The other categories are "Preservation Updates" (where I post any news I can find about what's happening to historic LDS buildings) and "Preservation Thoughts" (where I post my thoughts and opinions about specific buildings or policies). I will continue to use these categories in the future.

Of course, those are all secondary to the main purpose of this blog--documenting historic buildings that I can find. Blog viewership has grown tremendously in the past few months. I hope that I am able to help people enjoy these historic buildings, which we can't always visit ourselves.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

BYU: Karl G. Maeser Building

Universities tend to showcase some of the best architecture that groups and cultures have to offer. That is not really the case at BYU--in fact, with the exception of the Maeser, Grant, and Brimhall buildings, most of upper campus is void of distinctive architectural features. This is mostly because the Church is extremely frugal when considering its expenditures--turning BYU into what it is today was no easy feat, and is largely thanks to the efforts of Ernest L. Wilkinson, under the support of President David O. McKay.

(Image Source: BYU Archives)

This post studies the Maeser Building, the oldest building on upper campus.

(Image Source: BYU Archives)

The Maeser Building is a beautiful piece of work and a fitting reminder of BYU's history.

Over the course of time, the Building underwent a number of changes. In 1985, it underwent a major renovation, and everything was removed except the original walls. The goal was to restore its original layout and feel. They did a good job of doing that, including restoring the Maeser Lecture Hall:

(Image Source: BYU Archives)

My favorite elements of this building are the details around the doors, as well as the two open staircases.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pleasant Grove Second Ward: Stained Glass

(Image Source: Church History Library)

While the Pleasant Grove Second Ward building still stands as a school, its stained glass is absent. It appears that when American Heritage School sold the building to the John Hancock Charter School, they took the stained glass with them. From what I've been able to tell, they are now located in their auditorium. I contacted the school, and they very graciously sent me pictures of the stained glass:

(Image Source: American Heritage Schools)

This is the stained glass that was located at the front of the chapel. What follows is the stained glass that was above the main entryway.

(Image Source: American Heritage Schools)

Because the American Heritage School is a private school that incorporates LDS values, the stained glass fits in well with their new campus. I'm glad that these beautiful works are preserved.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Preservation Update: Idaho Falls, Freiberg Temples Officially to be Renovated

Note: Preservation Updates are a regularly occurring series of posts where I round up recent information on historic LDS buildings and their futures. Depending on the age of the post, there may be newer information available. Click here to see all Preservation Updates.

After months of mostly speculation and rumor, the Church has officially announced that the Idaho Falls Temple will be renovated. It will close in March 2015 and reopen around October 2016. The newsroom article makes it sound as though it will be rededicated at that time. The other temple being renovated is the Frieberg Germany temple.

(Source: Mormon Newsroom)

What does this mean for the Idaho Falls Temple? I feel pretty assured that the historic character of the temple will be mostly preserved. Scott Haskins has previously reported that he has evaluated the murals in preparation for this renovation, so that the Church knows what work needs to be performed.

Another aspect will be the seismic upgrade that the building will receive, which probably explains the long period the temple will be closed. I imagine the temple will also have its heating, cooling, ventilation, and other systems looked over, as well.

The trend right now is for the Church to preserve historic architecture, so I don't anticipate any of the historical elements being taken out, nor the progression in the temple being removed. It may be nice to arrange for the windows to be opened during the portions of the session that don't have film, though (as I mentioned in my earlier post).

In any case, it's good to see the official announcement, and to know that the temple will continue to be preserved.

Provo Park Ward: Lobby Detail

 There were two things I liked about the lobby of this meetinghouse: First of all, they used large windows above the door and square windows on the sides to bring in a lot of natural light.

Second, this blue trim, which is a motif in the chapel, is present in both lobbies, which ties the building to the chapel very well.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Preservation Update: Garland Tabernacle Celebrates 100 Years, Other Century-old Tabernacles

Note: Preservation Updates are a regularly occurring series of posts where I round up recent information on historic LDS buildings and their futures. Depending on the age of the post, there may be newer information available. Click here to see all Preservation Updates.
The Garland Tabernacle, which was dedicated in 1914, celebrated its centennial program 3 weeks ago on November 23.

The people involved have posted the video used during the program on YouTube. It includes some interviews about the tabernacle and lots of pictures of the exterior, interior, construction, and renovations:

Some things I really liked seeing was the baptismal font, the mural in the lobby of the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood, and the miniature pews in the primary room.

Some interesting portions about the renovation of the tabernacle came from the interview with Rober R. Jensen, former Stake President:

"In the early 1990s, while I was serving as stake president, we had some work that needed to be done on the stained glass windows in the tabernacle; some of them were broken and needed to be replaced. Also, we had some structural damage in the front facade in the tabernacle, and that required some extensive work to bring it up to code. And so, in our application to the Church for this work to be done, we proceeded to tell exactly what we needed.

"I received a call a short time later from one of the brethren in the Church Office Building, and he went over and reviewed the request for repairs with us, and then he said to me at that time, 'Well, I don't know if these will be approved, because of the age of your building. You qualify for a replacement building--a new building. How would you feel about that?'

"I said, 'Well, I can speak correctly for the members of the Garland Stake and say that we want to keep the tabernacle building.'..."

And this, from the interview with William E. Rose, another former Stake President:

"President White was the Stake President, and he had had President Spencer W. Kimball in his home as an apostle...and the tabernacle came into jeopardy of being torn down. And President White--by that time President Kimball had been sustained as President of the Church--President White called him and asked him for help to protect the tabernacle and [the] tearing down obviously never happened."

Finally, this, from the current Stake President Brent Deakin:

"...we need to realize that [the people who built this building] knew what they were doing back then; we can learn from them now.

"As we get new General Authorities that come up to visit us...they're just amazed at the beauty of the building, and we just take it for granted too often, I think."

From a study of the history of tabernacles, it's easy to see that the local leaders need to be firm and committed to protecting their buildings. Some tabernacle are now on a special list that prevents them from being destroyed; others aren't. Regardless of the status, we really should do our best to preserve and use these historic buildings.


The Garland Tabernacle had its centennial in November; the Alpine Tabernacle its centennial earlier this year. What other tabernacles have turned 100 this year?

That depends on whether you go by the beginning of construction or the date of dedication. The Kaysville Tabernacle was dedicated in 1914, but it had its centennial in 2012, 100 years after the cornerstone was laid. The Price Tabernacle was dedicated in 1914, but was torn down. The only other tabernacle that was dedicated in 1914 was the one in Randolph, Utah. 

I haven't been able to find if it had a centennial celebration (or will have one shortly). If not, it's too bad; it's a magnificent building.

Pleasant Grove Second Ward

Constructed at the corner of 100 N and 100 E, the Pleasant Grove Second Ward Chapel is a simple but elegant building.

(Image Source: Church History Library)
It was built in 1930.

(Image Source: Church History Library)

The building's most distinguishing feature was its stained glass--one above the main doorway (visible in the top picture) and one at the end of the chapel (visible above and below). Here's a view of the chapel interior:

(Image Source: Church History Library)

It looks like this was taken when David O. McKay was prophet--it looks like his picture on the right. On the left, it looks like a print of the Savior, but it's hard to tell.

The building was sold in 1970 to the American Heritage School:

(Image Source: American Heritage Schools)

And finally, in 2002, the building was sold to the John Hancock Charter School, which still occupies the building today.

(Image Source: Google Maps)

You'll notice that the stained glass is missing from the doorway. It's gone from the chapel, too. In my next post, I'll post pictures of them.

Also, it looks like the stone carving of "Pleasant Grove 2nd Ward" is still above the door--it's just covered by the school banner, now.