Everyone in our community remembers where they were when they heard the iconic Provo Tabernacle had been destroyed by fire. For many, it seems unbelievable that 10 years have passed since that early morning of Dec. 17, 2010. Some people wept as they tried to focus their camera lens on the charred building. Others looked on with dismay. Cars drove by at a snail’s pace, their occupants looking at the singed remains. Residents of Provo and elsewhere were in shock about the news the tabernacle was destroyed.
Shock of a different kind was also felt when news was announced of its unexpected transformation into the Provo City Center Temple. As I heard this official announcement my heart filled with great emotion. Thankfully, the tremendous loss of this beloved community gathering space ultimately became a community win as it continues to be a beautiful reminder of Provo’s history and a key contributor to our downtown economic vitality.
And our downtown hasn’t been the same since. The new addition to our downtown has been transformative. Until the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, businesses had been booming, mixed-use apartments had gone up and more people were coming to Provo to work, live, shop and play. Perhaps in 10 years residents will contemplate the 20th anniversary of the tabernacle burning and the 10th anniversary of the worldwide pandemic and say how bittersweet it was, but look at what good things have happened since.
Please read the full tribute article about the Provo Tabernacle on the Daily Herald here.