Friday, December 17, 2010

The fire that's breaking my heart

A brief history as on file at BYU of the Provo Tabernacle
The Provo Tabernacle, located on the west side of University Avenue between Center and First South streets, has figured prominently in the history of Brigham Young University. It was built by the Saints of Utah Valley at a time when money was difficult to obtain. Fifteen years, from 1883 to 1898, were required for its construction, largely because of financial limitations. From 1930 to 1941, when the Joseph Smith Building was completed, BYU commencement exercises were held in the building, the procession proceeding from the Education Building to the Tabernacle, a distance of six blocks. The Tabernacle was used for lyceum concerts even into the 1950s, and organ recitals of the Music Department continued there through the 1960s. Some of the artists who have appeared there have been violinist Fritz Kreisler, pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff, baritone Paul Robeson, soprano Bidu Sayao, the Minneapolis Symphony (1918), the Metropolitan Quartet (1916), opera star Emma Lucy Gates (1923), the Bach Festival (1934), and dozens of others. The dome in the center of the building was removed later because of excessive weight.

The building has been host to countless ceremonies, concerts (as a high school student I sang there with my choir) graduations, weddings, church meetings and more over the years. Just last Saturday I marveled over the beauty of the building. It was my second concert of the season with my son singing.

And this morning we woke to this

It hard to believe that beautiful organ, woodwork, stained glass, and detailing that I captured with my silly little camera is gone.

For the record I must say that building had a spirit about it.
I performed and listened to others perform there.
It was place beyond many you might step foot in.
I am so sad at this historical lost, yet feel blessed we were there just days ago, and my son got a final chance, that we did not know was final, to be a part of that great heritage.

If you have a few minutes, I invite you to share in the spirit of music and Christmas by watching this song my son performed with the choir when we were last there. Merry Christmas. May the Lord bless you and keep you.


Jessica G. said...

I just heard! So many memories's heart breaking.

ramsam said...

watching this video literally makes me cry

Kristina P. said...

It's truly so sad.

Lynnae said...

I am so sad. I loved singing in that beautiful building.

TJ said...

So very sad, thanks for sharing your video.

Artzy Heart said...

Thank you for your lovely post. I was shocked to hear the news on the way to work and listened with hope for what might have possibly been saved of that beautiful and inspired building. I'm deeply grateful to have had the opportunty to have heard one of the last concerts there and listened with tears in my eyes to the sacred music on your blog.

Jeanna GT said...

hey, i meant to tell you the other day that i really enjoyed this post. was this the performance the week before the fire? we were moments from going and just didn't go. i'm kicking myself now. i, too, have lots of great memories of this building. my family is from provo so we've had lots of conferences there and my grandma performed there.
thanks again, ramona.

Grannie Annie said...

It is so sad when something this wonderful is destroyed rather like losing a dear old friend...even if they rebuild it you know it just won't be the same. I live in S.L.C. but I share your sorrow.

Lori Saul said...

This is a very sad loss of a beautiful building that meant so much to so many. Perhaps it can be rebuilt to start anew and carry on bringing lives together.

Lee said...

Oh, so terrible! I hope some pieces can be salvaged, and added to a new church.

Rosey said...

What a devastating and terribly sad thing. Are they going go rebuild a tabernacle in it's place?
I can imagine why were crying, I would too.