Sunday, June 27, 2010

Temple Square and the Other Structures

We continued our tour of the memorable buildings on Salt Lake City's Temple Square with a visit to Assembly Hall.

Actually, we made more than one walk around the Square. The Assembly Hall seemed to take on a different character that matched the weather present on two of these stops (left and below).

The Hall was built in a Gothic style from 1877-1882, using mostly granite discarded from the Temple building process.

The stones for the Assembly Hall were not cut as exactingly as the Temple's. This accounts for the building's dark, rough texture and the broader masonry joints between stones.

The Stars of David circumscribed high above each entrance symbolize an LDS perception that they are a re-gathering of Biblical Tribes of Israel.

Comprehensive renovations occurring from 1979 to 1983 included rebuilding the tower and replacing each of the Hall's 24 spires with fiberglass moldings.

Additionally, a new 3,489 pipe organ was installed.

International and local artists perform every weekend and some weekdays.

In 1848, the Mormon pioneers planted crops for their first spring season in Utah. As the crops ripened, crickets descended upon the farms from the foothills east of the valley and consumed entire fields. According to traditional accounts, the harvest was saved by flocks of native seagulls which devoured the crickets. This event, popularly called the "Miracle of the Gulls", is remembered by Latter-day Saints as a miracle.

To celebrate the role seagulls played in the pioneer's first year in Utah, the LDS Church erected Seagull Monument on their Temple Square.

Located to the north of Temple Square is the Conference Center, which was completed in 2000. This building, which seats 21,000, has an organ which has 7,708 pipes.

Daily organ recitals are held in the Tabernacle. On Saturday, there is an additional recital in the Conference Center. We were fortunate to hear Bonnie Goodliffe perform the same selections on a Saturday on both the Tabernacle and the Conference Center organs.

Comparing the two organs, I liked the Tabernacle organ better because it sounded fuller and more intense; Kate liked the Conference Center organ's sound better because it was a crisper sound.

On Thursday evenings the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's rehearsals are open to the public, and we were fortunate enough to be able to spend over an hour with the Choir.

No comments: