"COMMUNITY OF CHRIST AUDITORIUM" Independence Things to Do Tip by mtncorg
Independence Things to Do: 33 reviews and 66 photos
Made to house the World Conferences of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS and now Community of Christ), the Auditorium was designed by church architect Henry Smith with inspiration from church president Frederick M. Smith back in the 1920's. Originally, the Auditorium was designed 66% larger than it is today with another balcony but budgetary constraints imposed due to the Depression and a large schism in the RLDS church occurring in response to what was seen by many as increased autocratic church rule by Frederick M. - he introduced the concept of 'supreme directional control', something the Utah-based LDS church has been much better at; up to 30% of the RLDS broke off, reducing tithe funds, though with time, many did return to the fold. The present capacity of the building is 5800 - by contrast, the new LDS Conference Center seats over 21000 - and even with this reduction in total volume, it was not until 1962 when the Auditorium was finally formally dedicated - construction had run from 1926 to 1929 and then resumed in 1956.
The Auditorium hosts many local community events in addition to the Community of Christ World Conferences - formerly held every two years and now every three - such as concerts and graduation ceremonies for high schools and colleges, besides being the venue for many well-known speakers from Harry Truman to Colin Powell to Bill Clinton. Many administrative offices for the Community of Christ are also maintained in the Auditorium and there is a Lower Assembly Room which can seat up to 1000 people. Providing music is one of the larger free-standing organs in the US, an 111-rank organ with over 6500 pipes ranging in size from 1/4 inch to 32 feet. The organ was built by Aeolian-Skinner of Boston and installed in 1959. You can listen to 30 minute recitals every Sunday at 3pm between September to May/daily during the summer. Tours of the Auditorium are also given Mon-Sat 9am-5pm and Sundays 1-5pm.
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