Architectural historians and preservationists are fond of saying that a building can be regarded as a historical document; a skilled and sensitive observer can read much about its history, builders, and surrounding community through its design, structure, craftsmanship, and details. In this groundbreaking book, Robison is that skilled and sensitive observer, combining thorough documentary research with a detailed and perceptive analysis of the first important Latter-day Saint building. He thereby illuminates the personalities, culture, and religious foundations of early Mormonism.
Robison is uniquely qualified to write a historical analysis of the Kirtland Temple. A professor in the School of Architecture and Environmental Design at Kent State University in Ohio, he has degrees in both engineering and architectural history. His unusual ability to analyze both the style and structure of architectural monuments has been reflected in numerous scholarly publications as well as in practical consultation on the conservation of historic buildings. A member of the LDS Church, Robison was commissioned by the Restoration Trails Foundation of the RLDS Church to study the structural condition of the Kirtland Temple in the late 1980s. In the course of his detailed study of its current problems, he examined literally every structural member in the building. Through this highly technical process he gained insight into the complex history of the building and its builders.