Saturday, May 28, 2011

Temple Square: Other Buildings

The last post was about the Temple -- this post will cover some of the other buildings in Temple Square.

The Tabernacle, known for its perfect acoustics, is the home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The 360 choir members practice Thursday afternoons and perform each Sunday.

When we arrived, the organist was practicing. Waves of light above the organ changed from blues to purples to reds. We even recognized the song: Simon and Garfunkle's "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme."

Tabernacle during organ practice

Organist close up

We had lunch at the Lion House, where Brigham Young once lived. We ate in what was the kitchen, a cafeteria now famous for its rolls (and they were very good!):

Carole and Dick at the Lion House

Returning to Temple Square, we were met by three young missionaries, one from the United States, one from Canada, and one from China. They were our guides when we returned to the Tabernacle and visited the Assembly Hall.

Carole and John with Sister Wright, Sister Mullen and Sister Cao

Returning to the Tabernacle, our guides did the "pin drop" for us, a demonstration designed to show the amazing acoustics of the Tabernacle. Without amplification, they gave a few brief statements about the building, and then dropped several pins and a nail. Every word they said was audible to the back rows of the building. The pins clinked loudly and clearly, and the nail practically thudded.

Then off to the Assembly Hall.

The Assembly Hall

The Assembly Hall interior

The Assembly Hall pews look like oak, and the pillars look like marble. Look is the operative word here -- they are neither. They were painstakingly painted that way, and the same is true for the Tabernacle (with the exception that most of the pews have now been replaced by actual oak).

Painted marble and wood
Painted wood detail

We left our guides and headed off to see the Conference Center. It is huge. It holds over 21,000 people on the main floor and cantilevered balcony, plus the entire Mormon Tabernacle Choir on the stage.

The roof of the Conference Center is a terraced meadow:
During construction, a spring was discovered under the building, and was incorporated into the architecture. The water flow starts on the roof...
And ends in a waterfall over the front:
We didn't have time for the hour-long movie, the museum, the Family History Center (the famous Mormon genealogy center) or the other historical areas of the Square. Next time we'll take the advice of our Conference Center guide and park away from the square (and its two-hour parking meters) and take the free light rail.


Sharon Del Rosario said...

I lived in Sandy, just south of SLC, 1993-2003, and I remember when the conference center was being built. The Tabernacle is quite spectacular, and hearing the choir first hand, during either practice or performance, is awesome! Thanks for bringing back some good memories for me.

Roadrunner said...

My husband and I were there years ago, we got to to hear the Radio broadcast of the Choir, Wonderful pictures. They did not have "free transit" but I like the signal lights that "chirped"

Sara said...

That was a nice thorough tour...thank you. Love lots of pictures.