Provo

My City's New Castle

1/07/2016 Laura Watkins 0 Comments

The Provo Tabernacle - Provo City Center Temple Restoration and Construction #ProvoRocks 
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Five years ago, my favorite building in Provo, UT (the city we live) burned down, and I cried like a baby.

(Video slideshow of the history and reconstruction) 

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And I cried even more every time I drove by it's hollowed out shell. 


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This building was in the center of the city. We used to drive by it frequently, we got to have occasional church meetings in it, we watched parades from its front steps, and played on its grounds. 

 Our daughter, July 4, 2010 - Independence Day Festivities on Provo Tabernacle Grounds
Erik and our two oldest sawing wood for wood burning activity,
July 4, 2010 - Independence Day Festivities on Provo Tabernacle Grounds
Our youngest, July 4, 2010 - Independence Day Festivities on Provo Tabernacle Grounds
Old two oldest children, July 4, 2010 - Independence Day Festivities on Provo Tabernacle Grounds

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It was one of the first things I loved about Provo. 



Then came the announcement. Our church was going to restore it and convert it into a new temple! So many of us cried with joy when we heard the announcement.

The first temple I ever got to go inside of, Portland, OR. It was built when I was 7 and living in Oregon.
If you've never seen or heard of LDS temples, here's more about them and a few pictures:
Erik and I were married in this temple, so it's an obvious favorite! Oakland, CA




St. George, UT
Logan, UT
Bet you can see why I was so excited, huh? :)


The original structure of the Provo Tabernacle had a cupola (spire thingy in the center) that had be removed because it wasn't structurally sound. The new design put it back in!

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I still don't quite understand how they did it, but they gutted the building and raised it up on stilts to build the foundation and lower level.  (Video about this engineering feat here here.)

The exterior walls of the Provo Tabernacle are secured for the construction of the Provo City Center Temple. Image source

Locations are prepared for installation of the stained-glass windows in the Provo City Center Temple.  Image source
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Over the next few years, we got to witness the construction of our new temple.

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They also had to remove, restore, and replace the spires.

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The skylight in the celestial room.  Image source

The steeple on the Provo City Center Temple. Image source
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Construction on the middle floor in the Provo City Center Temple.  Image source
The under-construction baptismal font at the Provo City Center Temple in January 2014Image source
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 Construction has finished now, and we just got tickets to the open house! That's another really neat thing about LDS temples. Even though only temple recommend-holding members are allowed inside after the building is dedicated, there is an open house for the public to come look inside before hand.

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The inside of the temple even includes some pieces that were salvaged from the original building, like the pulpit.





This piece was salvaged, and now replicas are in the new building as well:


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As workers peeled away paint and plaster from the burned walls, they uncovered a layer of painted plaster. The stenciled designs were pieced together using historic photographs as a guide. The design now appears again as a motif in the bride’s dressing room of the temple (see image below) - Source

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We are so excited to go explore our new castle! If you're in the Provo area and want to come to the open house, check to see if the free tickets are available here. (More are added periodically, so don't give up!) 

You can learn more about the LDS church here. And, as always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me!
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