1867 Mormon Tabernacle Pews Are Casualties of a Face-Lift





When the historic Tabernacle, the egg-shaped building that is home to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, reopens next year after a lengthy face-lift and seismic retrofit, visitors will find something new: the pews.

The loss of the original, and uncomfortable, pine pews, handmade in 1867 and meticulously etched and painted to look like oak, angers many Mormons, whose religion is strongly defined by its history and its forebears’ hardships.

Kim Farah, a spokeswoman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, released a two-sentence statement saying some original pews — Ms. Farah would not say how many — would be returned and that others would be replaced with oak copies “to maintain historicity.” “No determination has been made on what will happen to the unused original benches,” the statement said.

Church officials would not give an explanation for the change, Ms. Farah said in an interview.


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Alma G Allred - 10/27/2006

Apparently this story was picked up from the NY Times. I really doubt that you're going to find "angry Mormons" in any number that makes this story newsworthy. Anybody who has ever sat in those pews since about 1940 realized that those seats were made for an earlier and much shorter generation. While the loss of the historic value is sad, it's a good change and Mormons aren't angry about it. It's a non-story.


Alma G Allred - 10/27/2006

Apparently this story was picked up from the NY Times. I really doubt that you're going to find "angry Mormons" in any number that makes this story newsworthy. Anybody who has ever sat in those pews since about 1940 realized that those seats were made for an earlier and much shorter generation. While the loss of the historic value is sad, it's a good change and Mormons aren't angry about it. It's a non-story.

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