Mormon Tabernacle Choir Blog

Take a Tour of the Salt Lake Tabernacle Attic

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk through the attic of the Salt Lake Tabernacle? Well, wonder no more because your virtual chance has arrived. In this video, you will get the rare chance to see the historic Tabernacle as you’ve never seen it before.

The famous building, designed by Henry Grow, was completed in 1867 under the direction of Brigham Young, who was President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the time. Tradition suggests that Young made the first model of the Tabernacle using a boiled egg and toothpicks to show the rounded roof. According to a 2007 Deseret News article, his daughter Clarissa Young Spencer commented on the origin of the design:

She wrote that her father approached Henry Grow, a new convert and architect who had immigrated to Utah, with the unique shape in mind after slicing an egg "end-wise and setting it up on tooth-picks. I was strongly impressed that we might use this plan for the building," she quoted her father as saying.

This video of the Tabernacle attic shows the intricate design of the civil engineering landmark, including the lattice truss work, wooden pegs, and rawhide straps to keep the wood from cracking. Contrary to popular belief, nails were used to build the Tabernacle. In fact, tens of thousands of nails were used in the construction as documented in Gathering as One: The History of the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. While the Tabernacle has gone through several renovations to reinforce the structure, the original pioneer work remains.