|Former names||RLDS Auditorium|
|Location||1001 W. Walnut, Independence, Missouri|
|Owner||Community of Christ|
|Field dimensions||214 feet (65 m)x 168 feet (51 m); 92 feet (28 m) floor to roof (conference center); 114 feet (35 m) to top of dome|
|Community of Christ|
The Auditorium (formerly the RLDS Auditorium) is a house of worship and office building located on the greater Temple Lot in Independence, Missouri. The Auditorium is part of the headquarters complex of the Community of Christ which also includes the Independence Temple.
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 according to the vision of Frederick M. Smith. Construction was virtually halted during the Great Depression when the church struggled under a massive debt.
World Conferences of the church are traditionally held here every two years in the World Conference Chamber, a large hall which seats nearly 6,000. The Conference Chamber is 214' x 168' and it is 92' from the floor to the height of the dome's interior. The exterior of the dome is 114' above street level. Originally, the Auditorium was supposed to have two balconies but was restricted to one balcony to financial limitations. In retrospect, two balconies would have caused acoustical damage to the Auditorium.
The Auditorium houses an Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ with 113 ranks and 6,334 pipes. It includes an antiphonal console and pipes in the rear balcony of the oval chamber. It is listed in the top 75 largest pipe organs in the world at TheatreOrgans.com. The Auditorium also houses the Children's Peace Pavilion.
The Auditorium is the site of an annual performance and broadcast of Handel's Messiah by the Kansas City Symphony and the Independence Messiah Choir. The Community of Christ International Peace Award has been awarded to several recipients in ceremonies at the Auditorium as well.
In addition to its use by the church, the Auditorium is made available for high school graduations and cultural events in the Independence and Kansas City, Missouri 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. Animal rights activist Jane Goodall spoke there in spring 1999 or 2000. Most recently, former United States President Bill Clinton gave the keynote address at the Auditorium commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Truman Presidential Library.
The building street address is: 1001 W. Walnut, Independence, MO 64050 USA
- Roger Yarrington, The Auditorium: World Headquarters Building of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Herald House, 1962.