Saturday, March 8, 2014

Here Comes The Sun

I arrived at the site early this morning.
I love mornings.
I enjoyed the peace and quiet of a new day,
Until this man got to work.
Jacobsen's crews had been at the site for an hour by the time the sun rose.
They attacked the west lot with a vengeance.
I am interested in this last trench on the south edge.
The red ladder is pointing out where this trench is.  I believe it's built on the concrete wall which has been constructed over the last month or so.
Mr. Crane was also up bright and early, working hard.
I waved to Mike because I know he keeps an eye out for me.
There has been some interest in the spikes which held the old awning over the former west entrance.
A reader told me that a vestibule was off this side.  It led to a small lobby which was tucked under the organ pipes and the choir loft.  Performers often used it as a waiting area.
Another reader sent me an early photo of the tabernacle which shows that the awning was not original to the tabernacle.  There are several interesting things in this picture, and since you are looking at it, I'll point them out.  You'll recall there was an earlier tabernacle built in 1861.  It can be seen on the left, with its white bell tower rising.  On the far right is a building originally constructed as a telegraph office.  In the 1870s this was purchased by Brigham Young which he used as a home when he visited Provo.  Electric poles can be seen running along University Avenue, which was most likely called Main Street at that time, indicating this photo was taken in the 1880s when electricity came to Provo and much of Utah.
The craftsmanship of the woodwork surrounding the choir loft was exquisite.  While the wood was destroyed in the 2010 fire, enough remained that it could be studied and will be duplicated throughout the new temple.
This 1960s-era photo shows the choir loft and the organ pipes at the west end of the tabernacle.  Notice two angled doorways on the second level of the tabernacle, one at each side of the choir loft.
I took this picture on January 8th last year, which shows this area. I was focused on Mr. Track Hoe, not the area behind him, which shows the wall where the organ pipes were.  As we recently discussed, the three faint windows filled with brick in the background will be replaced with art glass and will be the west wall of a large sealing room.  The two angled doorways lead into the tower stairwells, which are being rebuilt.  The holes you see in the shotcrete are beam pockets.  The original pioneer builders used beam pockets to hold the balcony.  Jacobsen's crews have also used beam pockets to hold the new floors.
As long as I was going through old photos, I thought I'd show you a few more things.  In 1893, the year the new tabernacle was dedicated, a small plant was built which produced steam to heat the building  The accompanying brick stack is shown here.  The building was in use as early as 1886 and early newspapers record complaints about how cold the tabernacle was.  The unpaved road is the original First South.
The smoke stack was a beautiful piece of work which stood until 2012.
I happened to catch a glimpse of the smoke stack in this photo from a visit in April 2012, a  month before the temple groundbreaking.  Ruins from the old tabernacle are seen in the foreground.  Exterior braces supported the walls of the tabernacle after the fire.
When Brigham Young dedicated the original tabernacle, he commented that it was already too small.  Work on the second tabernacle, the structure currently being transformed into a temple, began in 1883.  One of the outbuildings housed a baptismal font.
The two buildings stood next to each other for several decades.  The Old Meetinghouse, as the original tabernacle came to be known, was on the prime location of the center block in Provo.  Jacobsen construction trailers now occupy areas on both sides of that spot.
The original tabernacle had a bell tower.
When the Old Meetinghouse was taken down in 1919, the bell was saved.  It now hangs in front of BYU's Marriott Center.
Another old photo of the two tabernacles shows electric poles running down the centers of University Avenue and Center Street.
This is Center Street from the west.  The original tabernacle is on the right.  The tower of the old fire hall can be seen in the top center.  A flag flies over the original county courthouse next door.
This is view of that same part of Center Street.  This photo was taken from the walkway around the center spire on the second tabernacle.
This is an 1890s photo of the same section of Center.  It was taken looking northwest.
I took this photo before I crossed Center Street as I left the site this morning.
I was facing northeast when I took this picture.  The Knight Building was constructed in 1900.
Before 1933 this fountain, named after Karl G. Maeser, graced that intersection.
That intersection is in the lower center of this photo.
That intersection would be to the right of this picture, which was taken at an event honoring BYU's 50th anniversary in 1925.  While it's clear a parade is going on, parking has always been an issue in downtown Provo.  The new temple will have parking for 245 cars underground, with 50 spots at the far end of the south lot.  The current Provo Temple has parking for 700 cars in its three lots, plus street parking.
I found a picture which has another view, on the left, of the building which used to be President Young's home.
The old black and white photos don't show the beautiful sky and mountains which frequently grace Provo.
These pigeons are watching the workmen from the top of the southeast tower.
There was a lot to watch from their vantage point this morning, even for a Saturday.
The mayor recently mentioned in a City meeting that he hopes to see the temple completed by the end of 2015, restored to its former beauty.
The area for the underground foyer is a mass of activity.  Once the sun rose and warmed things up a bit, watching was glorious.
The concrete pump spent much of Thursday pouring new walls.
He was back again this morning, covering conduit in this trench which will take power to the pavilion.
The former home of Brigham Young was close to where these men are working.
The temple is beautiful in the morning light.
It's actually beautiful in any light.


sly said...

Thank you for taking so much time to do this. We sent the link to our children who have moved away so they can see the transformation also. What a beautiful blue sky and mountains to go with the beautiful temple. Mountains and temples--both sacred places. I appreciate your efforts more than you could ever know!!

Irene Tukuafu said...

I loved this day's entry. TOTALLY. I love the old pictures in comparrison...and then the two doves...and the last words....BLUE SKY can't be seen in the old photos....and sunlight on any Temple is beautiful...sooooooooooo true. thank you again.

David and Mary Lou said...

I hope the Church makes your blog "semi-official" (we are a church that loves documenting history, after all!) and allows you inside so you can continue to update us on the interior work! Thanks for all your efforts in recording this historic and very interesting endeavor.

Julie Markham said...

I'm certain my updates on the interior are going to come from what I hear and not from what I see. But progress is good in any case, right?