Provo Utah Tabernacle
The Provo Tabernacle was originally built between 1883 and 1898 on University Avenue between Center Street and 100 South, and was a city landmark for over 100 years. The tabernacle had been updated as the years went by, but its distinguished architecture was never changed. The building was gutted by fire in December 2010. Apparently, no arson was involved. The building was beloved and venerated by generations of residents and BYU students who worshiped and attended a variety of meetings, concerts and other events there.
During the months after the fire and the investigation that followed, residents wondered whether the historical facade of the building could be saved. There was an audible gasp of joy at the announcement in General Conference by Prophet Thomas S. Monson that the historic tabernacle would be remade into a temple. There is a precedent for this action, since the Vernal Utah Temple (dedicated in 1997) was created from the 1907 Uintah Stake Tabernacle. The new temple will include “a complete restoration of the original historic exterior.
Speculation had intensified during recent months as the church had been working on acquiring additional properties on the Tabernacle block. In late August 2011, it announced the acquisition of land from two businesses on the block, the Travelodge Motel and Los 3 Amigos restaurant. At the end of September 2011 the Provo Municipal Council voted to sell to the church the property upon which the old Hotel Roberts used to be located. The hotel was demolished in 2004.
With those acquisitions — and impending acquisitions — the Church will own the entire Tabernacle block, with the exception of the Post Office property. The Church has not indicated any plans for acquiring that property.
The Provo Utah Temple is the most-used temple in the Church, with the Brigham Young University campus and Missionary Training Center nearby. This, second, temple in Provo will help to ease the crowding and waiting times experienced by the Provo Temple.
For information and Mormon news about the other temples that have just been announced visit the newsroom of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Inadvertently called by friends of other faiths as the “Mormon Church”)