Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Auditorium (Formally the RLDS Auditorium)

Photo courtesy: Nancy Bishoff

A regular visitor to my blog is Nancy Bishoff and her husband Al. Both are originally from Missouri and had their graduation class at the Auditorium (formally the RLDS Auditiorium). When in Missouri, they often visit the site because it brings back such pleasant memories. Nancy feels the Auditorium is a “must see” for anyone visiting the area.

The following information is from wikipedia:

“Construction of the Auditorium was a massive undertaking, illustrating the vision of church Prophet/President Frederick M. Smith who provided the building's inspiration. Groundbreaking began in 1926 and the building was only completed in 1958.The Conference Chamber was originally supposed to be about 66% larger than it is today. It seats nearly 6,000.Construction was virtually halted during the Great Depression when the church struggled under a massive debt.

The Auditorium houses an Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ with 6,334 pipes. It is listed in the top 75 largest pipe organs in the world at World Conferences of the church are traditionally held here every two years in the World Conference Chamber. It is also the site of an annual performance and broadcast of Handel's Messiah by the Kansas City Symphony and the Independence Messiah Choir. In addition to its use by the church, the Auditorium is made available for high school graduations and cultural events in the surrounding area. Numerous dignitaries have spoken in the Auditorium, from Independence native, Harry S. Truman, who spoke during his presidency, to the former Secretary of State, Colin Powell. Most recently, former United States President Bill Clinton gave the keynote address at the Auditorium commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Truman Presidential Library.”