Friday, December 17, 2010


by Scott Rhoades

Woke up this morning to the terrible news about the Provo Tabernacle, one of the most beautiful and historic buildings in the area. It looks like it might be a total loss due to fire. I hope it can be restored, but even if it can, it won't quite be the same.

My heart goes out to all of you who have good memories of that building, whether you just admired it as you drove by, or participated in events inside.

This tragic event made me think of one of my favorite aspects of art: the preservation of specific times and places in a world where change is inevitable. Often, change is important and necessary and improves the world. In those cases, it's important that art preserves the reasons why the change was needed, so we don't forget. Other times, change rolls over us like a bulldozer, destroying beauty and happiness. Often, change is a combination of these aspects, bringing about improvement but still destroying good in the process.

Writers have a unique roll in preserving the past. We can describe the physical world that was destroyed, but we can also provide a view into the time that captures events and psychology and life in a way that is difficult in other art forms.

A lot will be written about great times in the Provo Tabernacle. I look forward to reading other people's memories.


Julie Daines said...

I am sick about this too. I've spent many hours there listening to concerts and stake conferences. Sad.

Scott said...

As a transplant to the area, I don't have the same connections to the Tabernacle as so many other people. I've only been in it a few times. But I loved driving by it, and thought it was easily Provo's best remaining historical building. I also understand its importance to the community. If a city can have a heart, that was it. So sad to see it go.