Saturday, December 18, 2010

Provo Foundation Launches Initial Fundraising Effort To Rebuild The Fire-Gutted Provo LDS Tabernacle

Update March 31st 2011: Provo Fire Department releases official report on the Provo Tabernacle fire, attributes it to human error. Updated post HERE.

More than 24 hours after a tragic fire gutted the historic Provo LDS Tabernacle, firefighters continue mop-up operations. As of 10:30 A.M. on December 18th, smoke could be seen coming from where the organ used to stand. While there's been no official estimate of the damage to the tabernacle, millions of dollars in electronic equipment also went up in flames. Much of that camera and lighting equipment belonging to BYU and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was at the building to produce and record a music production that was scheduled for Friday December 17th and Saturday December 18th.

But although the LDS Church, in their initial reaction, expressed some doubt that the historic Provo Tabernacle would be rebuilt, the Provo Foundation in association with other interested citizens has begun an effort which could lead to the reconstruction of the Tabernacle or a similar building. This group has now established a Facebook page and is soliciting donations. Their eventual website:

At the moment, the only way to donate is through any branch of Zion's Bank. All donations will be tax-deductable. Eventually, this group will undoubtedly set up an online donation portal if initial interest and response justifies it.

A number of prominent citizens from the area have already put themselves on record as favoring reconstruction:

-- Corey Norman, Provo Foundation
-- Mayor John Curtis, Provo City
-- Taylor Oldroyd, CEO Utah County Association of Realtors
-- Brian Chapman, BCR Political
-- Kelly Ward, Zion's Bank
-- Chris Nichols, Pres Utah County Association of Realtors
-- Steve Turley, Provo City Council
-- Sterlinng Beck, Provo City Council
-- Laura Cabanilla, Provo City Council
-- Gary Winterton, Provo Business Owner

The Keepapitchinin blog has posted some good photos of what the interior of the Tabernacle looked like before the fire.

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