Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Domes, and the Salt Lake Tabernacle

After discussing the arch, the next logical architectural feature to cover is the dome, which is really just an extended arch. We read a few books about the Pantheon, and then discussed other famous domes like those at St. Peter's Basilica, St. Paul's Cathedral, and Florence Cathedral. We then went forward in time a bit to discuss our own Salt Lake Tabernacle's dome, which Frank Lloyd Wright called "one of the architectural masterpieces of the country and perhaps the world." The tabernacle dome is interesting because it's not a traditional dome---it's more like a long barrel vault, and it's constructed with inner trusses, illustrated here.

We watched a documentary about the Tabernacle's construction that was quite interesting. From it, we learned about the amazing acoustics in the building, and we had to go experience them for ourselves! So, up to Temple Square we went, where the obliging sister missionaries did the "pin drop" demonstration for us.
It's really true---you can hear a pin drop at the pulpit from the back row here!
These pillars are cool. The Latter-day Saints wanted to give their best to the Lord, but they couldn't get real marble for the tabernacle, so they painted these wooden pillars to look like fine marble!

It was a beautiful day at Temple Square! We always enjoy a visit there.

To learn more about famous domes, we also watched the Domes segment of the Building Big documentary (available from Netflix). We really liked it. Perhaps I should add a note here saying, that I LOVE documentaries, and my children, not knowing any better, do too. We have quite a lot of patience for videos that are, shall we say, rather slow? So don't be expecting something really action-packed or exciting---but I can promise that all this series is extremely interesting! :)

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