Sunday, December 6, 2015

Those Who've Gone Before: Manti North Ward

This series honors LDS Architecture that is no longer standing. To see all the posts in this series, click here.

Light filters into the old Manti North Ward building (located a few blocks north of where the Manti Tabernacle now stands) through a glass dome above the rostrum:


 (Source: Church History Library)
The chapel was every bit as beautiful as the Manti Tabernacle, even though it was built years later (dedicated November 5, 1911). A huge stained glass window with a quatrefoil motif at the top graced the east end.

 (Source: Church History Library)

In later years, the glass dome suffered from vandalism, the east stained glass window was boarded up, and the Church decided to build a new chapel instead of keeping the old one. Many people worked tirelessly to try to save the building, and for a number of years it was used to house the preparations for the Manti Pageant. Eventually, though, the building came down in the 1980s.

 (Source: Church History Library)

I figured that the stained glass window was saved, because for some time, it was in the hands of the Manti Destiny Committee, who planned to dedicated a heritage center (with gardens) that would feature the beautiful window. That was 15 years ago. The heritage gardens were  made and dedicated, but the building was never erected.

I did some poking around to find the location of the window. A helpful blog reader reached out to me and confirmed that the window was in the hands of a local non-profit committee. I reached out to several contacts to try to find the location of the window, and after making some calls around, I spoke with a member from Manti who has been paying a storage fee every month for years for the window. (It's a big window, and takes up a lot of boxes--too much to keep in a garage! This member has literally spent hundreds of dollars on this window!) She graciously sent me pictures of the window, the only color ones I can find:


I believe this is one of the door transoms.
This quatrefoil design was at the top of the window.
Three of the panels along the bottom of the window.
One of the five arches.
As you can tell, this window is breathtaking. The member who is paying for its storage, and the non-profit organization, are trying to find a use for it--several possibilities have come in the past, but none of them have materialized. I sincerely hope we can find a way to repair and reassemble this window so that it can be enjoyed in the future by members and non-members alike.

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