Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tragedy in the Community -- Provo Tabernacle Destroyed in Fire

In the heart of Utah county, in Provo, Utah, there is a building which is by far the most beautiful and treasured in the whole county.  It was completed in 1886 and was a hub of activity for the community.  Held in the "Provo Tabernacle" were church gatherings of various faiths, concerts, funerals and graduations.  Some of which my family and I attended.

Photo circa 1880s

Circa 1980

Circa 1986

Circa 1890s

Circa 1986

In fact, a concert was scheduled for December 17th and 18th.  Film crews were set up to film it and beautiful, expensive musical instruments were arranged inside.  In the very early morning, around 2:45 am a security guard called 911 saying there was a fire.  Fire crews worked hard all throughout the day, but it appears the beloved Tabernacle may be a complete loss.

My family and I drove past about 16 hours later and it was still burning inside.  It was surreal to see that beautiful landmark in such ruin.  The only consolation I feel is that the fire happened in the dead of night when no one was there, instead of in the middle of the concert when the building would have been packed with people. 

Below are some photos I took of the scene. (Click on the photos for larger versions)

Spray from the fire hose coated the trees in ice


  1. Wow. TRAGIC event, but I must say that your photographs are gorgeous! You really have an incredible eye. Has the source of the fire been determined?

  2. Such an incredible loss. Thank you for capturing the moment and sharing. I have never been in the building but my heart breaks for the loss of this historical place.

  3. Megan, thank you for the compliments. They still have not discovered the cause and they say it may even take weeks to find out (since they have to dig through 9 feet of rubble).

    Tina, you're right, it is a huge loss. My heart breaks for each historical place we lose in this world and especially in this country, as time goes on. We have fewer and fewer.


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