Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Last Week: Provo Tabernacle Interior

Last Week: Provo Tabernacle Interior

By: Matt W - December 18, 2010

These pictures of the interior of the Provo Tabernacle were taken last week by a friend of Matt W, who shares them with us:









  1. Thank you.

    Comment by J. Stapley — December 18, 2010 @ 11:31 am

  2. My friend said that original Teichert Painting was in the front entrance. For some reason, I find that to be the most devastating.

    Comment by Matt W. — December 18, 2010 @ 11:52 am

  3. My family usually reads a psalm and some verses from the Book of Mormon after dinner, and the psalm yesterday happened to be number 84, which starts:

    How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee.

    How important it is to have beautiful and sacred places of worship. What beautiful pioneer workmanship that was, and how sad to lose it, and how sad to lose that Teichert painting.

    Comment by Researcher — December 18, 2010 @ 11:55 am

  4. My pioneer relatives served in that tabernacle. I have visited it many times. Thus, I was deeply saddened to hear of this fire.

    Thanks for the pics, which are nice reminders of one of the most pleasant places on earth.


    Comment by S.Faux — December 18, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

  5. I just read this morning that they just moved in a piano for a concert this week. It was a handmade Fazioli. My husband is a piano technician who nearly cried about that. Insured or not, the piano, the painting, and the building cannot be replaced.

    Comment by Carol — December 18, 2010 @ 12:25 pm

  6. Beautiful. Thanks, Ardis.

    Comment by Ray — December 18, 2010 @ 1:32 pm

  7. […] and its historic renovations, including a number of photos taken of the interior in 2006. Also see Matt W.’s photos of the Tabernacle interior taken last […]

    Pingback by Juvenile Instructor » Aerial View of the Provo Tabernacle Fire — December 18, 2010 @ 1:54 pm

  8. Thanks, Matt and Ardis.

    Comment by michelle — December 18, 2010 @ 2:22 pm

  9. I never got to go inside, so I’m glad to see these pictures.

    Comment by Michelle Glauser — December 18, 2010 @ 4:19 pm

  10. Thanks for these reminders of the beauty of the building. No research on who T.M. Allman is?

    Comment by Matt — December 18, 2010 @ 8:35 pm

  11. Matt, he’s Thomas Mollart Allman (1867-1948), born in Provo and lived his whole life there, served in the church, held low-level local political positions, and worked as a wood carver, doing fine art pieces as well as ornamental carpentry like that in the tabernacle. I don’t know how widely he was known; he did win gold medals for his work in Utah and in regional fairs at least.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 18, 2010 @ 9:37 pm

  12. Thanks for the photos. It was a beautiful building, built with love and devotion, and a sad loss.

    The interior layout is like the Logan Tabernacle. The side benches in the back of the long room face the other side, not the speaker. It made for some sore necks by the end of the afternoon session of stake conference.

    Comment by Clair — December 18, 2010 @ 10:21 pm

  13. I was really disturbed by this fire. I so hate to see any historic building or pioneer home destroyed, either by fire or by cities who condemn buildings. Thank you for the pictures.

    Comment by Maurine Ward — December 18, 2010 @ 10:50 pm

  14. Wow, I added that as a bit of tongue-in-cheek because you always include these little tidbits and then it only takes you an hour to find the answer to something that seems obscure to me. Too good!

    Comment by Matt — December 19, 2010 @ 8:05 pm

  15. The detail of the open book at the top of the gothic-arched stained glass along the walls was always a favorite of mine. It pains me to describe it now in the past tense. I suppose a positive outcome is now I can much more viscerally understand the pain the saints experienced when the left behind temples in Kirtland and Nauvoo.

    Comment by Terceiro — December 19, 2010 @ 8:36 pm

  16. It is with a huge sense of loss that our family of 12 grieve over this devastating fire and destruction of our heritage. My ancestor, Ole H. Berg, a cabinet maker and finish carpenter, was one of the builders of this fine edifice. To most of us old timers, it was Provo!

    Comment by Colleen — December 21, 2010 @ 8:03 am

  17. While I favor rebuilding the tabernacle, I don’t see how it’s possible to do so. What has been lost is priceless and irreplaceable. Nothing can possibly bring back or replace the work of the masters who built the original. All we can do today is build a replica. This is truly a great loss.

    Comment by Blaine Nay — December 21, 2010 @ 8:03 am

  18. This is still making me sad. I spent some time yesterday reading about the history of the Tabernacle (I had no idea about that original spire) and mourning the loss.

    Comment by Mina — December 21, 2010 @ 8:26 am

  19. Wow. Thank you for sharing these. I have lived in Utah all of my life but unfortunately never had the opportunity to visit the Tabenacle before this tragic loss. My cousin was contracted to play harp for Lex deAzevedo’s big concert that weekend. Their dress rehearsal for the concert was held the night of the fire – BYUTv had many cameras set up and had filmed the dress rehearsal performance, planning to film the rest of the concerts and create as a DVD special. Extra lighting had been rigged for the concert which was ultimately the cause of the fire. All of the orchestra instruments, including the grand piano, and the beautiful harp, were lost, as well as the Tv cameras, tech equipment [and sadly, all footage taken]. But of course, the greatest loss is the irreplaceable historic building. Seeing the exquisite craftmanship, the organ, and the beautiful and irreplaceable Minerva Teichert painting made we weep fresh tears. Perhaps we can imagine in a much more personal way what our pioneers felt watching their sacred & precious Nauvoo Temple burn to the ground. If the church can rebuild and recreate that magnificent structure, surely they could do so with this one, if that ends up being in the Lord’s plan.
    – MoSop
    PS This post was featured in DesNews BBB.

    Comment by Mormon Soprano — December 21, 2010 @ 11:49 am

  20. It is a great loss, Blaine.

    But you don’t need to fear that the work there is irreplaceable. There are craftsmen (and craftswomen, I should add) today who are capable of doing the same kind of work that was done on the tabernacle. All that’s required is the will (and the funds) to hire those people and put them to work.

    (The low level of craftsmanship in our chapels is altogether too appropriate a match for the design–but don’t let that worry you. We can do much better than that.)

    Comment by Mark B. — December 21, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

  21. I say build a replica. It won’t be the same, but if it’s done right it will be a beautiful thing in its own right and a fitting memorial to the original. And a hundred years from now it will be just as old, and just as much a part of the community, as the one we lost.

    Comment by Lisa — December 21, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

  22. This loss is devastating. I can’t even begin to count the number of events I attended at the Tabernacle while I was at BYU. It has been particularly special to me since it was the place where the Law School held its graduation convocations. I support the idea of rebuilding, though the expense will be great. I would hope that history still means something to people and that, albeit unlikely, funds can be contributed through various sources and channels and dedicated to preserve this piece of history.

    Comment by KLou — December 23, 2010 @ 10:39 am

  23. THANK YOU for posting these priceless photos. I grew up in Provo and spent many a stake conference and musical performance there as a child. I was devasted to hear about the fire but these photos bring me great comfort. Just the other day I was thinking about the Provo Tabernacle and the many happy and spiritual memories I had there and I thought how nice it would be to take my husband and children there someday. Imagine my shock to come upon the news about the fire only a couple of days later. At least I can show my family these photos. Thank you. Thank you.

    Comment by Celestia — December 23, 2010 @ 2:55 pm

  24. Thomas Mollart Allman is my Great Grandfather. He was a world famous woodcarver. He states he inherited this talent from his father (Thomas Allman) who was Superintendent of the finishing work of the St George Temple under the direction of Brigham Young, and did much of the finishing woodwork in the Manti Temple (spiral staircases, etc). Many wood carving pieces can be found in the Pioneer Museum on 5th West in Provo, UT. When I heard the news about the Provo Tabernacle, my heart sank….This is a devastating loss to our family as well as many others indeed!

    Comment by Carla — December 27, 2010 @ 6:30 pm

  25. Thank you so much for posting these pictures.
    My Great Grandfather was Thomas Mollart Allman.
    As a child I loved and admired a carving of an indian that hung in my Grandmother’s home. My favorite was a baby that my Grandmother had on her bedroom dresser. I was always so impressed with the detail work of the baby. My only regreat is that I never went inside the Provo tabernacle to see more of his work.

    Comment by Marilyn Olesen — December 28, 2010 @ 8:27 pm

  26. Carla and Marilyn, I appreciate your personal connection and am sorry for that loss on top of the general disaster. I’ve put Thomas Mollart Allman on my list of people to find more about, with the idea of writing a post and helping to bring him to the notice of more people.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 28, 2010 @ 8:49 pm

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