News Story

New Tabernacle Exhibit Opens in Time for General Conference

A new exhibit that will highlight the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square and its history from the last 140 years will open tomorrow at the Museum of Church History and Art of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The exhibit opens just in time for the rededication of the Tabernacle. The building has been closed the last two years for a seismic upgrade and restoration. Gordon B. Hinckley, president of the Church, will conduct the dedication during the Saturday afternoon session of the Church’s worldwide general conference.

The exhibit features many artifacts from the building, as well as historic photos, documents and architectural drawings.

“The story of the construction of the Salt Lake Tabernacle is so unique that we pulled out every stop possible to do it justice,” said Richard Oman, the museum’s curator. “We haven’t installed an exhibit with this many complex exhibit techniques and messages since our Salt Lake Temple centennial exhibit back in 1993.”

One of the most-asked questions about the Tabernacle relates to how the building’s dome-shaped roof was created in the late 1800s. A full-size replica of a section of roof trusses was built and now stands in the middle of the exhibit.

Oman explains, “The full-size roof section is the ‘wow’ part of this exhibit. Everyone who has watched us construct it has been astonished that we would even attempt to re-create a part of the roof in the gallery!”

With the exhibit opening tomorrow, the more than 100,000 people attending the 177th annual general conference will have the opportunity to see the museum’s display. The exhibit will stay open until January 2009.

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