Discovering Great Mormon Buildings

Smithfield Tabernacle Detail


Construction began in April of 1883 and was completed in December of 1902. Unique to this building is the phrase “Holiness to the Lord” placed over the entry which is typically reserved for Temples. The 6.1 magnitude earthquake to hit the Logan area in 1962 was reported to have badly damaged the building stating that it “probably should be condemned.” (30 Aug 1962 Herald Journal) Today the building appears to be owned by the city as some type of recreation hall. I am unsure of the date the building was sold.

Center St and Main St
Smithfield, UT
Built 1883-1902
Click for Map Location of Building

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4 responses

  1. The Smithfield Tabernacle was traded to the city for ten years of snow removal from all church property in town. For most of the last twenty years, it’s been known locally as “the youth center,” and has been used for basketball games. During the annual Health Days celebration, it is sometimes used for exhibits. At one point, the Smithfield Police Department housed some forensics equipment there while their new premises were under construction. Today, the building is little-used, and city officials and the local historic society are considering its future. It doesn’t look as though they will preserve it, tragically. Interestingly, the city features the tabernacle’s image on signs marking the “Heritage Trail” that runs through town. This likeness depicts the tabernacle with the towers and windows intact. A leaded glass panel in the Smithfield trolley depot building (currently home to the local branch of Wells Fargo Bank) shows a similar rendering of the tabernacle.

    This is how the tabernacle appeared in 1940: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~raymondfamily/PafPhotos/images/html/1940%20Tabernacle%20-%20Smithfield,%20Utah.html

    and as it appears today: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Smithfield_Utah_Tabernacle.jpeg

    September 8, 2012 at 1:07 pm

  2. Additionally, the deal to transfer the ownership was apparently in the 1960s-70s, when the Church had only a small number of buildings in town, perhaps three or four.

    September 9, 2012 at 5:59 pm

  3. I should correct and add to my previous comment: city officials report the building is still in regular use by the Smithfield Recreation Department, and that a study is currently underway to examine the costs of bringing the building up to seismic code. They added they are optimistic regarding the future of the building. Some Smithfield citizens advocate for a restoration of the exterior to its original condition, replacing the central and truncated towers, but–as far as I know–no serious effort to restore the building is in progress.

    The annex to the back of the building contains a kitchen and showers (for use with the recreation hall). Elsewhere in the building is a seminary classroom (used by the Smithfield Junior High, later a part of Summit Elementary, demolished roughly two decades ago), and a prayer room, which currently houses a number of stained glass windows from the (long demolished) Smithfield First Ward building. There is some speculation that the tabernacle’s original windows are still in place, having been bricked over on the outside, and protected by wood on the interior.

    September 9, 2012 at 6:16 pm

  4. I was wondering if you ever considered changing the page layout of your site?
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    June 22, 2013 at 1:14 am

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