LOCAL NEWS

Salt Lake Temple Will Close For 4-Year Renovation Project

Apr 19, 2019, 7:19 AM | Updated: 1:37 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has unveiled details on the upcoming closure and renovation of the historic Salt Lake Temple.

The First Presidency of the Church were in attendance at Temple Square for the announcements. President Russell M. Nelson spoke on the background and purpose of the historic temple.

“Temples are precious to us,” he said.

Nelson said the temple will be closed on December 29, 2019, and will remain closed for approximately four years.

“Every reasonable effort will be made to honor and maintain the temple’s historic beauty. We will strive to preserve its reverent setting and character as originally directed by President Brigham Young,” Nelson said. “We promise that you will love the results. They will emphasize and highlight the life, ministry, and mission of Jesus Christ in His desire to bless every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.”

Leaders also announced changes to Temple Square, allowing for better visitor access. The changes will create new points of access and better views of the temple.

In an effort to make the temple and ground more accessible to the public, the areas to the north and south of the structure were expected to undergo extensive changes. The visitors center to the south and current temple annex on the north side – and wall on both sides – were expected to be replaced with an open corridor, exposing the grounds to South Temple and North Temple passersby.

The renovation will include a significant seismic upgrade to help the temple withstand a large magnitude earthquake, according to the Church, and will also replace the building’s aging mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

“This upgrade will include a base isolation system, which is one of the most effective means of protecting a structure against earthquake forces,” said Brent Roberts, managing director of the Church’s Special Projects Department. “This unique system will preserve the historic footing of the temple. Once complete, it will help protect people, the historic building, and the beautiful interior finishes in the event of an earthquake.”

Leaders said they expect the temple to reopen in 2024. Before the building is rededicated, there will be an open house and tour of the renovations, which will be open to the public and a rare opportunity for people of other faiths to see the inside of the historic temple.

Newly renovated grounds near the Church Office Building were announced to feature new thematic elements and aspects of the life of Jesus Christ.

“We want to make the plaza area to the east of the temple even more public friendly,” said Bishop Dean M. Davies, First Counselor of the Presiding Bishopric.

He said there would be new seating areas, viewing corridors and other features, expanding on the east all the way to State Street. Bishop Davies said leaders wanted to emphasize that, “This is the Savior’s house. This is His Church.”

“We want (visitors) to think of Salt Lake as easily as they think of Jerusalem or of the Vatican as a place where Christianity has its heart,” he said.

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Salt Lake Temple Will Close For 4-Year Renovation Project