Changes are planned at Grandin Building

The historic Grandin Building in Palmyra, N.Y., will be restored and furnished to better tell the story of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, the First Presidency announced this week.

The restoration effort will allow visitors to see a fully outfitted press room and bindery on the upper floors of the building. The temporary exhibit on the main floor will be replaced with a new interpretive exhibit on the translation and publication of the Book of Mormon.The First Presidency said that the building will be closed to visitors early in 1994 to aid in the restoration and reopened to visitors again in 1995.

The project is under the general direction of the Church Historic Sites Committee. Elder Stephen D. Nadauld, executive director of the Historical Department and chairman of the sites committee, said: "The restoration of the Grandin Building will offer visitors an experience with the Book of Mormon that will focus on its importance to the Church. In this historic building, the story of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon will be brought to life in its authentic historic setting."

"From this location," Elder Nadauld added, "a small group of early Church members launched the effort to fill the world with the message of the Book of Mormon as another witness of Jesus Christ."

Visitors to the remodeled main floor will see a mockup of E.B. Grandin's bookstore, where the first copies of the Book of Mormon were made available for sale on March 26, 1830. Exhibits on that floor will include a model of the Palmyra area, artistic depictions of Joseph Smith's first vision and visits from Moroni, information on the translation of the Book of Mormon and preparation of the manuscript for printing.

The original Smith printing press, now on exhibit at the Museum of Church History and Art, will be duplicated for display in the Grandin Print Shop. A second press will be replicated from an original in a museum in the eastern United States. Both presses are extremely rare and exist in relatively few numbers.

On the second floor, visitors will see a restored bindery, where the first 5,000 copies of the Book of Mormon were folded and bound in leather.

The third floor will feature an authentic re-creation of the print shop, including replicas of the original printing presses, and an exhibit briefly outlining the story told by the Book of Mormon.

The Church purchased the Grandin building in October 1978. It is part of the Palmyra Historic District and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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