Sunday, October 8, 2017

Richfield First Ward: Stained Glass Details

The real centerpiece of the Richfield First Ward is its beautiful stained glass window. This window is so magnificent that it once graced a cover of the Ensign magazine:

Unfortunately, since the sale of the building, the window is suffering, and it's pretty obvious.

There are several concerns. The window is not protected with any kind of barrier--it's exposed to the elements; any thing that hits the window could shatter the sensitive glass.

Over time, the lead the holds the panels together can soften and become loose, allowing panels to fall or become askew. This happens to all stained glass windows; they need maintenance and upkeep.

As you can see, a closer look is even more discouraging. Panels have fallen out and are wedged at the bottom of the window, where they fell. Other panels are still in place, but are crooked or about to fall. Grime is present along most of the edges of the lead. The lead itself is clearly loose in several places.

Of course, the main question becomes: who's to blame? It might be a little bit of everyone's fault. In conversations with the owner, it's clear that it was never clearly established who was in charge of the window. Some felt that it was indicated that the Church would do this and still have ownership of the window; others have pointed the fingers at the owners. No one is sure who's in charge, so the window suffers. I really hope that this window can be preserved--it is one of the loveliest examples of Latter-day Saint stained glass in the Mormon corridor.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Richfield First Ward

Built in 1906, the Richfield First Ward has some lovely architectural elements, especially its gothic windows (one of which is stained glass) and corner tower.

(Image Source: Church History Library)

The building to its east was probably built around the same time, if not a bit earlier. They are now connected with an addition.

(Image Source: Church History Library)
 The building was sold sometime around 1980. It now serves as a reception and events center called Knightsbridge Hall. It also houses a photography studio. In the future, we'll look more into the status of the stained glass in this chapel.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Elsinore Ward

This beautiful chapel is in the small town of Elsinore, just south of Richfield in Southern Utah. Built in 1911, it has since been sold and is now privately owned.

(Image Source: Church History Library) 

The building itself appears to be in fairly good shape.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Preservation Update: St. George Tabernacle Struck by Lightning

Yesterday, the St. George Tabernacle (which is currently being renovated) was struck by lightning, causing a small fire in the attic.
Lightning reportedly struck the St. George Tabernacle
(Image Source)

The timing was extremely fortunate. Construction workers and nearby pedestrians immediately reported the fire, and because of the building's thick and historic wood, the fire didn't spread very far. You can read more about the incident here:

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Panguitch South Ward

Panguitch is one of the oldest settlements of the Mormon corridor, but almost none of its original ecclesiastical architecture survives today. One of its most notable buildings was its stake tabernacle, which stood on the corner of 100 E and Center.

(Image Source: Church History Library)

The tabernacle was condemned and torn down in 1949; a grassy lawn was left in its place for many decades. Now, stores are in its place, but a marker remains.

Meanwhile, in 1930, Panguitch's two wards (the north ward and the south ward) both had chapels built. The Panguitch North Ward chapel (located right by the tabernacle) has since been torn down.

(Image Source: Church History Library)

This building was torn down sometime around 1980, I believe.

This only leaves the pioneer town with one old chapel--the Panguitch South Ward.

(Image Source: Church History Library)

You'll notice it looks almost identical to the Panguitch North Ward, but this building has survived. An old photo provides a glimpse of the interior--very simple.

(Image Source: Church History Library)

This building technically still stands today, but it's in rough shape. It was sold to a Baptist church--likely around the same time the North Ward was torn down--but it doesn't appear to be in active use today.

It really is a pity that such an old pioneer town is left with almost none of its historic religious architecture. Hopefully this building will continue to be used.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Grandview (Provo) Ward

The Grandview Ward (in Provo) built their meetinghouse in 1923. It's a small but charming brick chapel.

I'm not sure when the building was sold--probably in the 1960s or 1970s--but it now houses a baptist church. The building itself has been changed very little.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

American Fork Second Ward: Exterior Details

This chapel could definitely use some work. The main concern is the appearance of the roof, some missing finials, and some problems in the brickwork.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

American Fork Second Ward: Stained Glass Details

This building still has some beautiful Victorian stained glass windows. They are both transom windows, and both in the original chapel portion of the building.

Nobody was there when I visited the building, so I couldn't ask for an interior view. I was able to get a view by looking in adjacent windows, so you'll notice it's lower quality.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

American Fork Second Ward

The American Fork Second Ward Meetinghouse was built largely in 1903; by the end of January 1904, the ward was able to meet inside the building.

(Image Source: Church History Library)

Fortunately, the building has been very well preserved. The chapel on the right (with the corner steeple, which acted as an entrance) is the original portion of the building; the rest was added on in 1929. Fortunately, the addition matches the architecture of the original portion exactly.

The building has some beautiful details--colorful stained glass, unique finials, and beautiful brick work all add to the building's character. The Church vacated the building in 1979; in 1984, Bigelow and Co., an organ building company, purchased the building. They still own it today.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Twenty-fourth Ward (Salt Lake)

Built around 1907, the 24th Ward chapel has a very nice architectural style that is unique in Mormon culture. The narrow tower over the main entrance, the curved wall on the north side, and the split staircase leading up to the main doors are all very nice features for this building.

(Image Source: Church History Library)
The building is still standing, but it was sold by the Church many years ago. Now it houses a music company.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Rose Park Ward: Interior

The building was built during a time of transition in the Church--the beginning of largely standardized plans, but with some nice little touches that make the chapel memorable. The lobby has a nice bas-relief of the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood (which I forgot to photograph during this visit--sorry). The main doors on the left lead to the chapel.

The chapel is very nice, with windows lining both sides, and some nice woodwork on the rostrum and pews.

It really does have some nice touches, showing that you don't need to go all out in order to make architecture memorable for local members.