For the past several months, Provo, Utah, residents have had a unique sight in their midst: the nearly seven-million-pound exterior of a 112-year-old building standing on 40-foot-high steel stilts. More than just an unusual construction site, this scene is the beginning of an extensive process to preserve the exterior of the Provo Tabernacle, a community landmark gutted by fire in December 2010. As The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced in October 2011, the building is being converted into a Mormon temple.
“People are amazed when they see [the construction site],” says project manager Andy Kirby. “They haven’t seen anything like it before. They just say it doesn’t look real and are just amazed that we can do that, that we can lift a building up with the piles like that.”