Monday, 30 December 2013

Provo Church

The church we all attended growing up is located just a few blocks from our house. It was built in the 1920s, and is a beautiful building. I don't think I appreciated this until I moved from home and had to attend church in newer, less beautiful church buildings. I love my church, and I love attending church, but I will readily admit that Mormon architecture, at least where it concerns meeting houses, is not the most exciting. So it was a joy to have my father's funeral in this beautiful exception, and to have lunch there after the graveside service. It gave us all a chance to explore it - something I haven't done in many years! 

The ceiling in the foyer has a star of David on it. It was impossible to capture the whole thing in one photo, and I wasn't brave enough to lay down on the floor to see if that would work! 

Stunning! Look at those two staircases. And look at all that natural light pouring in.

How many LDS church buildings can boast a spiral staircase?!

The back staircase.

At the top of those curving staircases.

An old familiar painting which hangs in the Relief Society room.

Painted detail on the Star of David.

The chapel.

Heather & Michael in the balcony at the back of the chapel.

I wandered around the church three times - once by myself, once with Reagan, my nephew, and the third time with Heather & Michael. Heather was thrilled to find these primary chairs - the same ones she used when she was a child!

Heather and I were both thrilled to discover this old cupboard - with hand-grained wood! For hundreds of years, people would fancy-up cheap wood by painting grains on it by hand. I think it is so beautiful and creative. 

Another view of the Relief Society picture - with a fireplace beneath it!

Tillie on the steps that lead up to the stage.

Tillie & Lexi playing in the chapel.


  1. My cousins grandfather was an old-world master craftsman who emigrated from Prussia to the United States not long after WWI, I believe. Opa Rimmasch specialized in gold leafing and in taking a piece of wood and painting it to look like marble or oak or whatever texture or grain was wanted.

    It's been years since I've been in the old Provo Chapel, but based on some of the details, I would guess that German, Swiss, or Scandinavian master craftsmen built and decorated this building. It would be interesting to know the history.

    And I agree: Mormon contemporary architecture leaves a TON to be desired. Austria's church buildings tend to be somewhat more reflective of their Alpine culture and aren't as cookie cutter as so many buildings are today. Of course, part of that "sameness" is simply an effect of supply and demand. Back when the Church was small, buildings like this could be built. As the Church grows, it needs space rapidly. Ergo, standard architectural layouts. Still, kind of sad to lose a lot of that beauty and tangible symbolism of real sweat sacrifice.

  2. Absolutely gorgeous building! I agree about LDS architecture for meeting houses - not the most inspiring. I do love the old buildings though with odd back staircases and one of my favorites was down in Ephraim, UT with a separate room at the back of the chapel with a window for parents to take fussy children without having to miss the service. Brilliant!