Friday, December 17, 2010

My Heart Is Heavy

photo from

I feel like I am about to write an obituary.

Really, it is just a building. However, it is a building which for many, myself included, holds many memories as well as a rich history.

This morning Allen showed me the breaking news story on KSL which told of the demise of our historic Provo Tabernacle. It was up in flames, smoke billowing from the collapsed roof and broken windows.

photo taken from the mayor's blog

Just a building? I suppose. It's the building where Allen and I went to a few Sunday firesides when we were dating. It's the place where we have attended almost every Stake Conference we've been to in our married life. My kids have been honored and received awards in assemblies held in this place. Some of them have even performed there. I have been uplifted and inspired while inside. My kids have played on the spiral staircases within the four corner towers. The architecture of this building was incredible. Every time we sat inside its walls we marveled over the intricate woodwork and beautiful stained glass windows.

These memories are not only mine- they have been the same memories of others who have lived in Provo and been a part of all of the same things I have mentioned. The same meetings, firesides and assemblies have been held here for years. This structure has been a part of our community and our lives since the late 1800's. It is one of the oldest buildings in the state.

All of that is gone now. All that remains is an empty outside shell. All that the walls contained is destroyed.

As I drove Thumbelina to school this morning I passed our Provo Tabernacle. Smoke still poured from every available opening as firefighters continued to douse the building with water. It was a heartbreaking sight.

The cause of the fire is still unknown.

How does one describe the feelings associated with the demise of a structure? Words fail me. It was more than just a building, it was a part of our community. It will be a sad thing to drive past this corner of our city and see only the walls remaining.

Today is a sad day for Provo.


Richard & Natalie said...

I am in shock. I am sick. I had no idea. You are right, Provo and Stake Conferences will never be the same. This is truly a sad, sad day.

Kara said...

Well said. I still haven't been able to drive by yet for just thinking of it breaks my heart. Truly a lot of great memories in that building!

Miss Griffiths said...

Thanks for writing about this. I hadn't heard. My family's home burned down a couple of years ago, and I totally understand grief for a building - a place where memories were made.

Farscaper said...

My first thought was stake conference. We typically grabbed seats upstairs. The kids loved sliding around the benches (on the sides).

Every time I was there I was in awe of what the restoration project did (several years ago). The stained glass windows had been properly repaired. The new shingles on the roof were fun to watch age over time.

I don't see buildings this beautiful being built anymore. Look at the library for example. They restored the pretty front building but the addition is just a cube. Nothing special.

I sure hope there is a way to rebuild it. It would be cool if they could rebuild it the way it was originally created (with a center clock tower turret). Make it all structurally sound and update the wiring.

Anaise said...

Such a sad thing.

Teachinfourth said...

I know exactly what you mean, G. I felt like I'd been sucker-punched in the stomach…

I don't think that many of these buildings/places are simply 'things' but an extension of our own life's history.