“ Address: Temple Square / Salt Lake City / Utah / Tel: 801 240 4872 „
THE SALT LAKE TABERNACLE:
This is the home of the famous Mormon tabernacle choir and if you are interested in hearing this choir singing them the practice every Thursday evening at 8pm and anyone is welcome to come and listen for as long as they want to and there is no charge at all.
This building looks a bit like a shiny slug from the outside with its domed silver roof but it was not designed for its looks but rather for its acoustics. Apparently you can drop a pin at the front of the hall and it can be heard at the back. We were not able to test this as you can't get right to the front of the hall as it is ribboned off but also we had the joy of sharing our visit to this building with a group of Japanese so the pin dropping would have had a bit of competition from the photo taking excitable visitors.
Despite sharing our visit we were able to sit in the pews and admire the simple lines and curved roof of this rather odd but architecturally clever building. The Tabernacle was built between 1864 and 1867 and what is especially clever is that the huge domed roof was built in such a way as to use almost no nails as these were scarce at the time. The roof is held by a truss arch system using dowels and wedges. There was some extensive renovation in the year 2000 to ensure the building was earth quake resistant but essentially it stands as it was built in the 19th century.
The foundation and base of the building is sandstone and the dome is supported by forty-four sandstone piers. The hall can seat 7000, which is a huge number considering when this was built.
The huge organ at the front of the building has undergone many renovations over the years and the latest was in 1989 it is one of the largest pipe organs in the world with a total of 11,623 pipes. The largest 32 foot display pipes are wood and made in the same manner as the balcony columns. They looked gold from where we were sitting and it was certainly an impressive looking instrument and I bet the sound it produces is something to sit up and take notice of.
We had planned to go back in to the city to listen to the choir practicing but it had been a very long day and we had done a fair bit of walking. This combined with the fact that this was our first day after the flight and the hotel was well over a mile away from Temple Square with the taxi costing about $12 each way made us choose an early night instead. As I said in my review of our hotel in Salt Lake city if I was advising anyone going to the city for a visit I would suggest they pay a bit more in order to stay closer to the Square as walking in cities in America is not pleasant, huge blocks with not a lot to see on the way.
The tabernacle is open daily for visitors and you can have a free tour guide if you choose. Apart from the invitation to listen to the choir practice on Thursday evenings anyone is also welcome to attend the 'Spoken Word' broadcasts on Sunday mornings at 9.30am.I am very impressed with how welcoming and open the Mormon people are and that you are invited into so many of their buildings with no charge.
Thanks for reading and hope this has been of some interest. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.