Cache County, Cache Valley, Historic Buildings, Historic Churches, NRHP, Smithfield, Tabernacles, utah
Construction for this large, Victorian Gothic style Smithfield Tabernacle began in 1883, was completed in 1902, and was renovated in 1955. The building is significant as it was the primary place of worship for the LDS community in Smithfield for many decades. The tabernacle was financed and constructed by the local Smithfield LDS Ward congregation. Constructing such a large edifice was unusual for a small congregation. The majority of LDS tabernacles were constructed by and for multiple LDS congregations to meet in a larger congregation called a Stake. The building is also important for its association with the planning and development of Smithfield City, specifically in the use of public space. Typical of early Mormon settlements in the Great Basin region, this large edifice was constructed on the public square to serve as the community center and to establish a feeling of permanence.
From the time of its construction, the Smithfield Tabernacle was the largest building in Smithfield and was the symbolic center of the community. Its distinctive yellow brick was locally manufactured in Smithfield. In addition to religious meetings, the building was used for all large community gatherings, including plays, concerts, graduation ceremonies, and political and agricultural meetings.
When the local LDS congregation outgrew the Smithfield Tabernacle in 1942 and out of concern for the deterioration of the unused building, residents found a new purpose for the building as a much-needed youth recreation center. It served as the only public recreation facility in Smithfield from 1955 until the construction of a new recreation center in 2000. Although some architectural details have been altered or were removed, the building still clearly reflects its original use as a place of worship while accommodating the more recent use as a recreation facility.
Located at 99 West Center Street in Smithfield, Utah and added to the National Historic Register (#100000509) on January 17, 2017