Gathering as One: The History of the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City

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The Salt Lake Tabernacle held the North American record for the widest unsupported interior space at its completion in 1867. Finished two years before the arrival of the railroad, it was constructed primarily of local stone, timber, and adobe. One of a long succession of buildings constructed to permit members of the Mormon faith to hear from their prophet, the Tabernacle accommodated over thirteen thousand people. A recent seismic upgrade provided a unique opportunity to view details of the historic building. Construction challenges, acoustics, the development of the organ, and subsequent alterations and upgrades are amply illustrated, providing a complete story of this magnificent edifice.

Early meetings in the Mormon faith were held in private homes or outdoors. The first buildings constructed by the Church, the Kirtland and Nauvoo Temples, were multipurpose buildings that were woefully inadequate to accommodate the growing number of Saints. After arriving in the Salt Lake Valley, Brigham Young decided to construct a hall where thousands could attend services. The Salt Lake Tabernacle is a bold and daring building, setting a North American record for an unsupported interior span. Developed from bridge trusses, the building was frankly modern in the way it eschewed traditional ornamentation and styles and clearly expressed its form on the exterior.

Brigham Young relied upon bridge builder Henry Grow and architects William Folsom and Truman O. Angell to realize the unprecedented structure. Grow tested the truss capacity with scale models and oversaw the construction of the lofty trusses. Folsom developed the initial plans, but then Angell worked out the details of the stand, seating, and gallery. Together they created an audience hall that seated approximately thirteen thousand and held as many as fifteen thousand with congregants standing in the aisles.

The recent seismic upgrade of the building provided an opportunity to view many original details and finishes that were long hidden underneath later layers and additions. The upgrade allows the building to be of service continuing into the next century.

Built from local materials and volunteer labor before the railroad arrived in the Great Basin, the Tabernacle stands as a witness to the collective sacrifice made by members of the Mormon faith. Driven from homes and disavowed by families, these early Saints made the arduous trek to the West to follow a prophet, and this remarkable building made it possible for many thousands of them to gather as one under a single roof.

SKU 978-0-8425-2849-8 Categories: ,

The Salt Lake Tabernacle held the North American record for the widest unsupported interior space at its completion in 1867. Finished two years before the arrival of the railroad, it was constructed primarily of local stone, timber, and adobe. One of a long succession of buildings constructed to permit members of the Mormon faith to hear from their prophet, the Tabernacle accommodated over thirteen thousand people. A recent seismic upgrade provided a unique opportunity to view details of the historic building. Construction challenges, acoustics, the development of the organ, and subsequent alterations and upgrades are amply illustrated, providing a complete story of this magnificent edifice.

Early meetings in the Mormon faith were held in private homes or outdoors. The first buildings constructed by the Church, the Kirtland and Nauvoo Temples, were multipurpose buildings that were woefully inadequate to accommodate the growing number of Saints. After arriving in the Salt Lake Valley, Brigham Young decided to construct a hall where thousands could attend services. The Salt Lake Tabernacle is a bold and daring building, setting a North American record for an unsupported interior span. Developed from bridge trusses, the building was frankly modern in the way it eschewed traditional ornamentation and styles and clearly expressed its form on the exterior.

Brigham Young relied upon bridge builder Henry Grow and architects William Folsom and Truman O. Angell to realize the unprecedented structure. Grow tested the truss capacity with scale models and oversaw the construction of the lofty trusses. Folsom developed the initial plans, but then Angell worked out the details of the stand, seating, and gallery. Together they created an audience hall that seated approximately thirteen thousand and held as many as fifteen thousand with congregants standing in the aisles.

The recent seismic upgrade of the building provided an opportunity to view many original details and finishes that were long hidden underneath later layers and additions. The upgrade allows the building to be of service continuing into the next century.

Built from local materials and volunteer labor before the railroad arrived in the Great Basin, the Tabernacle stands as a witness to the collective sacrifice made by members of the Mormon faith. Driven from homes and disavowed by families, these early Saints made the arduous trek to the West to follow a prophet, and this remarkable building made it possible for many thousands of them to gather as one under a single roof.

Additional information

Weight 62 oz
Dimensions 11.5 × 8.75 × 1.1875 in
Pages

278

BInding

Hardcover

ISBN

978-0-8425-2849-8