Groundbreaking for "a new place of assembly" to be used for general conference and other purposes, which was announced in conference a year ago, will be held July 24, President Gordon B. Hinckley said in his opening address Saturday morning.
The new facility, "which we have not yet named," said President Hinckley, "will seat about four times as many as the Tabernacle." The Tabernacle holds about 6,000. The new building, "where at least for many years to come all who desire to attend the general conference may do so," he explained, will be constructed on the block directly north of Temple Square. "We may not fill it initially, but we are building for the long term," said President Hinckley."It will be used for general conference and for other purposes that are in harmony with the reasons for which it is being built. The stage will be such that it can accommodate a large pageant.
"This remarkable Tabernacle has served us well and will continue to do so. The Tabernacle Choir broadcasts will continue from here and many meetings will be held here. This building has remarkable properties, different from other structures. It is unique and wonderful. However, there are today regional conferences involving only six or seven stakes where we have many more people than the Tabernacle will accommodate."