LDS Tabernacles

The Montpelier (ID) Tabernacle, 1918

A total of 75 tabernacles were built by the latter-day saints according to Richard L. Jackson’s survey of church architecture, Places of Worship. Jackson concedes that this number is somewhat subjective given that locals sometimes described their meetinghouses as tabernacles even when they were not officially designated as such. Of these 75 tabernacles, only 37 survive. Included in the casualties are masterpieces such as the Summit Stake Tabernacle in Coalville. Fortunately, the church has been meticulously restoring the remaining tabernacles in its possession so that they can be enjoyed for generations to come.

In the gallery below, the sketches (by Richard L. Jackson) denote tabernacles that have been torn down while the photographs highlight those that still stand. Some of these have been sold to other organizations and some are still used by the LDS church. Each thumbnail links to a separate webpage with more photographs and details, either my own posts, wikipedia, Jackson’s survey, or other bloggers who’ve done research on tabernacles like Willhite, Historic LDS Architecture, and LDS Architecture. I intend to visit and photograph all of the remaining tabernacles in due course. I hope you enjoy and please let me know if I’ve made any mistakes. (If anyone knows anything about the St. Anthony, Boise, and Twin Falls Tabernacles, I have been unable to find any current information on their status.)

Blackfoot Tabernacle 1921

  • Architect: Pope and Burton.
  • Dedicated 1921
  • 1980 Civic Auditorium for City of Blackfoot
  • 2003 Hawker Funeral Home
  • Style: Richard Jackson describes it as “Prairie style with a fan-shaped floor plan,” however, the only thing “prairie” about it, as far as I can see, are the rows of vertical windows. The building is an eclectic mix of architectural styles and unique designs: gothic tracery, Georgian oval windows, and circular brickwork. The entryway is in the style of a neoclassical Palladian window, but with a bold circle of bricks set on top, like a curious “all seeing eye.” On the whole, it has a very theatrical quality, unusual for a church.

Montpelier Tabernacle 1920

  • Architect: Pope and Burton
  • Groundbreaking 1918
  • Dedication 1920
  • Style: Romanesque Revival arches. The chapel of the tabernacle was built to double as a stage for concerts, which explains its arena-like form. The tabernacle is designed according to the “Akron plan,” a semi-circular layout that features areas below the balcony that can be sealed off for Sunday School classes, a style pioneered in Akron Ohio’s First Methodist Episcopal Church.