What The Tabernacle Really Looks Like

Throughout the entire time of observing The Tabernacle on February 8th, never once did it look the way I’ve seen it many times before. I chose this site location because it was a place that I had not only seen before, but one I’d experienced. When I have approached The Tabernacle at any point in the past, it’s been between the hours of 7 pm and 2 am. This already can highlight some of the contrasting features I noticed during my observation. When the skies get darker, however, the Marquee that hangs so dimly during the day is illuminated and projects all of the upcoming shows, increasing the excitement the people in line already hold about the show they are going to see that night. The dark sidewalks that are covered in gum and cigarette buds that were so visible to me at 1:30 pm, by 8 pm were covered with the feet of people anxiously waiting for the set of 5 tall, red doors to open. Interestingly, these doors that open up and welcome hundreds of intoxicated young adults are the same ones that used to open up for a respectable church crowd. Yes, The Tabernacle used to be a Baptist church used by much of the Atlanta Community. Knowing this can explain some of the conclusions I drew about the architecture of the building, writing notes about the “gothic style” of the doors and the “church like” structured design, not to mention the name of the venue itself. When me and my friends arrive at this venue, the 11 lights below the Marquee are actually visible and light the walk way to inside, though the 4 that aren’t lit are just as noticeable. When I approach this building in terms of it’s purpose, I see it in what I would describe as its purest form. All of the metal fences that had questionable purpose are pushed aside and the people that were so quiet throughout their day are pushing through others to get inside and to the front row of the pit. The metal gates that were pushed in front of the far left window and labeled “Tabernacle” are now separating the lines of people as they’re searched for things that aren’t permitted inside. The stain glass design that decorates the word “Tabernacle” on the screens, windows, and flyers is now interpreted by me as a tribute to the church. The will call window with flyers and announcements plastered on it from top to bottom are all methods of reaching out to their buyers and warning them of what this venue expects from their visitors, along with a list of shows to once again, promote the future of the building. All of these things matter when observing the venue because without them, there would be no difference between how I feel when I see the building versus how I see the building when I feel a certain way. The entire building incorporates the style of a church, which is contradicting in terms of the audience the two types of buildings can attract. I’ve realized that as much as I want to believe there are a million differences between the venue when it comes to seeing in at night or during the day, there are none. The building that it was this morning will be the same building it is tonight, the only differences are through my own experience and the way I choose to see it when facing different contexts.

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