When firefighters arrived at a burning tabernacle in Provo, Utah, Dec. 17, 2010, their first instinct was to demolish the exterior walls with blasts of water. But when a crew member readied his hose, the fire chief instructed the firefighter to hold off. That split-second decision saved more than a burned-out structure—it saved the shell of a local landmark that has brought a community together for more than 125 years.
Built in 1885, the tabernacle was used for church gatherings, stake conferences, funerals, lectures, graduation ceremonies and concerts. The building underwent several renovations until it caught fire in 2010. Leaving only the brick walls intact, the fire paved the way for a restoration project that would recreate the tabernacle's historical beauty while creating the new Provo City Center Temple.
Utah Tile and Roofing Inc., Salt Lake City, was selected to furnish and install the new slate roof system and associated waterproofing, sheet metal and copper details.
"Before the devastating fire, the Provo Tabernacle was the center of the community," says Andrew Seppi, president of Utah Tile and Roofing. "When the announcement was made it would be rebuilt and converted into a temple, the community celebrated. We were honored to be chosen to work on this unique project."