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Monday, June 24, 2013

New Foundation Walls and the Old Bell Tower

I learned a piece of historical trivia I want to share.  This tabernacle you are seeing now was not the first tabernacle in Provo.  In this spot, just north of the center of everyone's attention, was an earlier tabernacle.  It was built in 1856 and for some time these two tabernacles co-existed.
The earlier tabernacle was often called the old meetinghouse.  It was torn down in 1919.  What was interesting for me to learn was that this original tabernacle had an enclosed bell tower.
The tabernacle which we now know and recognize was completed in 1898.  This picture was taken from the location of the current Nu Skin building.  This second tabernacle had a center tower, but it was not a bell tower.  That tower began to sink into the roof and was removed about 1917.  The plans for the new temple do not call for a bell.  The center tower will be replaced and topped with an Angel Moroni.
The bell from the original tabernacle is now used as BYU's victory bell and hangs at the southwest corner of the Marriott Center.
The remains of the foundation walls from the old Roberts Hotel are now gone.  Nicholsen Engineering pounded in I-beams today, shaking my fillings as I took pictures.  They will likely complete this last portion of the barrier wall this week.  Notice the white pipe along the left of this photo, above the barrier wall.  This is part of a drainage system which is currently moving the water table from the site to the city's storm system.
Mr. Track Hoe worked at the south end.  He still has a lot of work to do in removing the dirt so construction of the underground parking lot can begin.
Mr. Crane worked hard today, too.  He was busy moving a lot of rebar and equipment to the east side.
The east side is getting some serious attention.  The foundation forms are moving around to that side of the building.  If you look closely, you can see the red crane block in the upper right-hand side of the photo.  Perspective is very flat in this picture, but you are seeing from the south of the tabernacle clear to the back of the north lot annex.  Notice the east side of the annex wall which has been poured and cleared of forms.  This wall is accessible so it can be covered with the membrane which will protect it from the water table.
This 3:30 pm photo from the construction cam shows that the elevator area at the base of the northeast tower, the west side of the north foundation wall, and the west end of the south porch are also being covered with this membrane.  You can see more of the temporary white drainage pipes along the top of the east barrier wall, and along the wall which backs up against the post office parking lot on the right side of this photo.  This membrane, plus the cutoff walls which were trenched in January, will keep the new temple dry.  This cam photo also shows a slab in the west lot, on the lower right side of this photo, which was poured this morning.
The concrete pillars are being poured as they are formed.  They will support a roof which will enclose this north annex.  Membrane has already been placed on the slab supporting the pillars.  The membrane is actually between two slabs which were poured several weeks ago.
The north foundation wall is getting some interesting work.  This will be an entrance from the annex into the first basement level of the temple.
The new west slab can be seen again in this photo.  The floor of the mechanical tunnel, which got a slab last week, is being covered with rebar in preparation for another pour.  The gully between the north annex slab and the tabernacle will be filled in with dirt once work on the foundation walls is finished.  Notice the green pipe extending horizontally across the center of this picture.
That green drainage pipe, unseen in this picture, extends along the east wall of this new slab and likely facilitates drainage from the slump in the slab.
The green drainage pipe can barely be seen along the left edge of this photo.  Notice the gap between that west slab, which ends at the cutoff wall along the vertical I-beams, and the foundation wall of the west porch.  This foundation wall must be accessible so the black membrane can be applied here, too.  Nu Skin is using wells to continually pump the water from their site.  The LDS Church opted to use this membrane to protect the new temple from the aquifer.
This south view of the basement shows the first level, or lift, of the foundation wall on this side.  The discoloration on the upper forms is evidence that they are being reused.
Here's a view of that same area from the post office lot.  The last level will be poured under pressure.  Then the 6.8 million pounds of the tabernacle shell will be transferred from the supporting I-beams on top of the piers to the new foundation walls.  
This picture is the only glimpse I could get of the interior of the basement.  The opening between the forms will be the entrance to the temple from the underground garage.
The rebar and forms along the western half of the south face will be part of a long set of exterior stairs from the very lowest level of the basement to the first basement level. 
This view of the south lot shows the new construction entrance.  Ultimately, a south entrance to the underground parking garage will be there.  The former construction entrance was where the pile driver is.  Notice the level of dirt which still needs to be excavated.  
The top of the west entrance to the underground parking garage was poured this morning.  Mrs. Track Hoe and Baby Front End Loader were solving a minor problem and were gone by the time I arrived on the west side.

5 comments:

David said...

Hi Julie,
I saw that they were dumping cement (in what it seem like no orderly fashion) around the north-side elevator shaft. Any ideas what they are doing? Now there looks like a big pool of drying cement just sitting there...

Julie said...

I watched that pour, too. They started very early and might have poured on the foundation, also. I can't get to the site today, but for sure tomorrow I'll be there to get some pictures.

David said...

They are at it again. So strange. They just put the cement down and let it slowly overflow the area. Seems so "non-scientific" to me.

Julie said...

I just got home from the site and have some answers. There is a method to this madness. Give me a couple hours to get a post up. I'm trying to eat lunch and sort pictures at the same time.

David said...

Sounds great!