My wife and I drove by the construction site just a few weeks ago. We spent our first two married years in Provo and attended at least one LDS Stake Conference in the Tabernacle. Yet there was something oddly familiar in a different way with the pictures Ardis posted. I hadn't ever paid attention to the hexagonal towers of the Tabernacle before. They are very similar to those of Raglan Castle between Abergavenny and Monmouth, Wales!
|Raglan Castle Tower|
by Me, August 20, 2010
|Provo Tabernacle-Temple Tower|
Courtesy of Ardis Parshall
|Provo Tabernacle-Temple courtesy of Ardis Parshall|
|Raglan Castle by Me, August 20, 2010|
From the self-tour guidebook at Raglan, we learned that the hexagonal towers were rather unique for a castle in Britain. With my sophisticated research skills, I also learned from Wikipedia that the architect for the Provo Tabernacle was William Harrison Folsom born 1815 in New Hampshire. He was baptized into the Mormon Church by and remained a life-long friend of Enoch Reese, a stone mason - now with that name & skill there's a possible Welsh connection! However, the Deseret News of August 16, 1901, reports that Enoch was born in Whitestown, Oneida County, New York in 1813. The parentage of Enoch is a little confused in NewFamilySearch. Yet, the three possible John Reeses as his father were all born in Wales. But still, that's a pretty tenuous or unlikely link between Raglan Castle and the Provo Tabernacle. And Enoch died in 1876 in Salt Lake City before the Provo Tabernacle was even started in 1883.
If anyone knows anything at all about the origins of designing hexagonal towers for the Provo Tabernacle, I would love to hear about it. Otherwise, we're going to have to chalk this up to an interesting architectural coincidence.