Saturday, February 27, 2016

Old and New and In-between

Many visitors were on the temple grounds this afternoon.
No one seemed to be in a hurry to leave.
The fountain is a crowd-pleaser.
As for me, I'm still focused on the pulpit.
A. LeGrand Richards shared some old photos with me.
This 1893 article states there were three pulpits, apparently patterned after the Salt Lake Tabernacle.
President Heber J. Grant is shown in this photo taken during a graduation.  Notice the mohair covering on top of the pulpit.
This photo from last week shows the pulpit as it was just before the fire.  The top part replaced the mohair.
I added some contrast so you could see the base.  This has been replicated in the temple.
The temple has come a long way.
Three years ago, the temple was on piers.
By February of 2014, the temple had a new foundation and a slate roof.
Restoration of the brick kept the temple shrouded for months.
The decking underneath the west gardens was just being poured in February of 2014.
This afternoon, crowds flocked around the pavilion.
Two years ago, it was a different story.
Progress has come slowly, but surely.
Last year at this time geofoam covered everything.
It's been worth the wait.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Looking For Spring

The public open house has been running for five weeks.
More than a half million visitors have seen the new temple.
I doubt this number has accounted for returning guests.
I may or may not be included in that category.
Even on days when visitors exceed 20,000, the tours run smoothly.
The standby line moves quickly.  You can check the wait here.  It's not recommended for evenings, Fridays and Saturdays.
Tickets are easy to get through this link.
For the record, whoever is in charge of parking is a miracle worker.
The open house only runs for two more weeks, so don't procrastinate.
I have found so many beautiful things to see inside.
And outside, too.
I have some personal favorites.
My favorite painting is by the Russian LDS artist Emin Zulfurgarov.
If you attend the Provo Temple, you will recognize his mural in the chapel.
A stunning painting by him is on the lower level of the new temple, near the grand staircase.
The Church tells his story here.
If someone in your group prefers the elevator, this will give you more time to study his painting.
Many visitors are discussing the restored pulpit in the temple chapel.
It was removed from its place on the stand in preparation for the performance before the fire.
This photo, taken by Eva Bingham Persson in 2010, shows that the pulpit in the chapel is the same as what was in the tabernacle.  However, it is possible the decorative part was the original pulpit, with the top added in the 20th century to make it larger.  Both parts are still together in the temple.
The top was slightly damaged during the fire and was refinished with a veneer before its placement in the temple.
A link to interior photos, including the chapel pulpit, is here.
Another of my favorites is the Good Shepherd glass panel at the ground level entrance.  When you see it, remember that this is painted glass which was then fired.
Although it was 28 degrees when I arrived at the temple this morning, I looked for signs of spring.
These pods survived a cold, snowy winter, but were enjoying a balmy fifty degrees by the time I left the temple grounds.
To my surprise, these petals look great after being buried in snow for months.
However, the signs are there if you know what to look for.
Spring is on its way.
It won't be long now.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Visitors at the Open House

A new visitor checked out the open house this afternoon.
I thought he might be the falcon, but after stalking him for awhile, I decided this was someone new.
Turns out he is a Say's Phoebe, a beautiful songbird.
I attended the open house this afternoon with a few members of my branch.  Annie, on the far right, played the tabernacle organ many times.  She's our branch accompanist.
Shea, who assisted our branch members, is one of the 600 brides who has scheduled a wedding at the new temple.  Vic, our branch chorister, has directed many choirs in the tabernacle.  Vic taught me several things today.  He's a brilliant man.
I pointed out this design which is on the elevator doors.  In turn, he pointed out the acanthus leaves at the top of the three pillars.
Vic, who has taught classes around the world, told me that acanthus leaves often topped Corinthian and Greek columns.
When I got home, I studied what he told me. Pictures of these beautiful leaves were easy to find.
As I sorted today's photos, I noticed the acanthus leaf in the design of the fountain.
The acantha leaf also comprises the design of the hardware on the stair rails.
Vic and I discussed the pointed Gothic arches.
The rounder arches in the top of the towers are Roman arches, he said.
After our tour, I walked around the temple grounds.
Open house tickets are frequently released.
The standby line is often a good idea, but not always.
Over 17,000 visitors toured the new temple on Friday, and then again on Saturday.
Sometimes more than 1500 people an hour see the temple. 
Tours begin at 7 am, and I've heard no complaints about parking.
Our branch members received special accommodations today, both inside and outside the temple.
We had a wonderful time, and I especially enjoyed all the elevator rides.
Before leaving, I saw one more new thing on the temple grounds.