Monday, July 30, 2012

Cultural Hall

Welcome to the Cultural Hall.

The Cultural Hall was originally built as the Masonic Hall.  Many of the early members of the church were Masons.  The building was also used for banquets, church meetings, concerts, court sessions, dances, Dr. offices, funerals, grain storage, mass meetings, Masonic meetings, Nauvoo Legion meetings, police headquarters, recitals, schools, theatrical performances, and the winter before the Saints went west in 1846, they took out all the benches on the lower floor and used that room to build wagon boxes.

Now the first floor is used for the productions of "Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo" (two shows every night except Sunday) and "Just Plain Anna Amanda", a children's play (two shows every day except Sunday.)  It's quite a small room and only holds a little over 100 people, so you have to get tickets ahead of time for both of these shows.  Nothing costs money, they just have the tickets so it doesn't get over crowded.

On the second floor, the walls for the offices have been taken out and there is a wonderful display of antique quilts.  During the restoration of Nauvoo, people dontated the quilts for display.  Some of them are very old. 


I saved the best part until last.  The third story had been badly damaged and was taken off by some people who had used the building for a home.  When the church purchased the building in the 1960's and began the restoration process, they discovered a treasure just beneath the roof.  The ORIGINAL floor for the third story.  This story was used for banquets and parties and dances - so I love to go up there and imagine Joseph & Emma, Brigham & Mary Ann, Hyrum & Jerusha,  Heber C. & Vilate, Wilford & Phoebe, Lucious & Lury, and all the other wonderful people we are getting to know so well, dancing and laughing during happier times here in Nauvoo.  The spirit up there is amazing. 

The Nauvoo Brass Band would have been playing from the balcony.

And from the windows on the East side - this amazing view.

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