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.)

German Schmear-Style Brickwork on 2019 Chapel

German schmear is a faux-antique brick look that I’ve noticed in some new LDS meetinghouses. It seems to be less about trying to look old as it is trying to add vibrancy to the brickwork. It has a particularly energetic appearance here in the backdoor to the meetinghouse.

5633 W 12900 S, Herriman, UT 84096

2010 Neo-Gothic Chapel

This 2010 Herriman chapel is a beautiful addition to the standard model, with pointed gothic arches and brickwork suggestive of medieval flying buttresses. It’s the only recent LDS meetinghouse I’ve seen using gothic motifs. I’ve also seen medieval English churches with exactly this kind of brickwork in their walls, presumably as a way of reinforcing a load-bearing wall.

12220 S 5600 W, Herriman, UT 84096