A historical treasure and city landmark, the Provo Tabernacle was originally constructed from 1883 to 1898 and has since been used as a gathering place for community meetings and cultural events, most notably an annual performance of Handel’s Messiah. After a fire gutted the building in 2010, Church leaders decided to restore the building and convert it into a Mormon temple.
In the course of which, a large area has been excavated around and beneath the temple walls with the church remaining in place on stilts, giving the building an extraordinary appearance, while not actually moving it. To preserve the most important parts of the Provo Tabernacle, which was destroyed in a fire two years ago, engineers gutted the interior of the building and dug down to create space for a two story basement. Workers first stabilized thebuilding shell by removing two of the five rows of brick in the wall and placing steel ties around remaining rows. A concrete wall was then inserted on the inside of the brick to give it more stability and strength. Stilts were ten installed and the crew excavated the soil 40 feet below the tabernacle, clearing room for the large construction site currently in full operation.
Via This is Colossal
@William Hunse http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utah_War will probably give you an idea of why these structures were built that way.
Why do these older LDS "churches" look like, and can function like, forts, castles? As an architect I can clearly see the fundamental defensive nature of the design.
It's too bad it wasn't converted into a building dedicated to science, instead of fairy tales.