Sunday, December 20, 2015

Blog Update/Milestone: 20,000 views, 250 posts

Hello, fellow LDS Architecture enthusiasts! Unfortunately, because of my plans this Christmas week, there will be no posts until next Sunday (December 27, where I'll pick back up with the Capitol Hill Ward). However, I wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has participated on this blog. Last week, the blog hit 20,000 views (and over 11,000 of those views occurred in the last 5 months alone). We also hit 250 published posts this past week, and I am working on many more.

I began this blog near the end of May 2014 as a hobby on the side. I never imagined I would be visiting as many chapels as I've visited over the past year, and I never thought that the blog would become as popular as it has (after all, historic LDS architecture seems like a very small niche). Instead, I have been able to publish hundreds of posts, enjoy tons of comments, e-mails, and questions from people who have reached out to me, learn more about the architecture in the Mormon Corridor, and even be mentioned in local news article on KSL and the Deseret News.

Since this blog started, I have finished my undergraduate degree, graduated, accepted a full-time job, published a paper on LDS tabernacles, and started another paper on LDS architecture.

Since I won't be able to publish any posts this week, here are some of the stories behind my visits to buildings published on this blog. This is only a small sample of what it's like for me to do my research and document these buildings. I run this blog only because I love these buildings, and want to be able to share them with as many people as possible. Do you have questions, comments, or just want to talk about LDS Architecture? Feel free to send me a message (on the right side of this blog in the web version) or comment on a post.

I convinced members of my family to stop here on the way home from a vacation. I didn't expect the building to be open, but found that some people were in the building for other business. After happily taking several pictures, we all piled back in the car--which didn't start. My family members had to wait in this chapel for 3 hours while I got the car towed to a local auto shop and they finally got it running again (it needed a new battery). My family loved this chapel, but 3 hours at the end of vacation is a long time to spend anywhere!


I drove to this chapel several times in hopes of being able to get pictures of the interior. Every time, it was closed, which was incredibly frustrating to me. I often wondered if it was really worth it to get pictures of the inside, but something about this chapel kept drawing me back. I finally was able to get inside and capture pictures of the simple, yet beautiful, interior, and publish a post on it. Sure, it took a year, but it was worth it!

This was one of the first historic buildings I visited. I ran over while on a break from other business, and the tour guides, upon hearing that I enjoy playing the organ, had me play for a local group of tourists that was visiting the building. It was an amazing building to visit, but playing the organ there is something I'll never be able to top.

 I literally stumbled on this chapel. I was visiting other chapels in the area, took a few wrong turns, and suddenly this building, with its stained glass, arched roof, and carvings, was before me. It was an awesome surprise, and makes me wonder how many other less famous (but still amazing) buildings are to be found across the country.

Long-time readers of the blog will know that I followed the Manti Tabernacle's recent renovation quite faithfully. The Manti Tabernacle was the first historic building I explored just for the benefit of enjoying an older building. It played a big role in sparking my interest in LDS Architecture. I visited it on the first week of its renovation, kept coming back over the next year, and finally toured it again during its recent open house. I have a real soft spot for this building.

 Over the course of this blog, my interest has really grown in LDS stained glass. This was one of the first buildings I visited that had a stained glass window. It took me months of detective work to find pictures of the building when illuminated (which you can see in the original post). Now, I've been able to discover the history of this stained glass--it was donated by a local widow, and moved to this new building--and this window may be one of my favorite in the Church. Christ, with his haloed head and outstretched hands, above the words, "Come Unto Me."

That's what all of these beautiful buildings proclaim: "Come Unto Christ."

Merry Christmas!

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