Salt Lake Temple Preparing For Four-Year Closure
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – During what is perhaps one of the busiest times of the year on Temple Square, work is being done behind the scenes to prepare for the closure of the Salt Lake Temple.
On December 28, the temple will close for four years as renovation and restoration take place throughout Temple Square.
Although the temple will be closed, visitors will still be able to visit, and will be able to monitor the progress of the construction from special viewing areas at the site.
Brent Roberts, managing director of special projects for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says there will be multiple areas where individuals can have a front row seat to see what’s going on.
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Visitors will be able to take self-guided tours through the Conference Center, where many of the popular exhibits will be temporarily housed.
“We want everyone to know that Temple Square is open. I’s open every day of the year, and we want guests to come and to continue to experience temple square during the renovation,” said Tanner Kay, manager of the Temple Square guest experience.
There are more than 300 people working behind the scenes to prepare for the temple closing. Roberts says the list of individuals includes engineers, architects, designers, contractors and church employees. As work gets underway, the number of people working at the site will increase significantly.
In advance of the closure, new interior renderings were unveiled Wednesday showing what the temple will look like when it’s complete. When Church officials first announced the renovations, they outlined a number of the changes and upgrades that would be made, which include:
· Seismic upgrades to help the temple withstand an earthquake.
· A new tunnel connecting the square with the Conference Center, underneath North Temple Street.
· New entrances to Temple Square.
· The South Visitor’s Center will be removed and replaced.
· The plaza between the temple and State Street will undergo renovation and improvements.
Many areas of the temple will be restored back to what it was like when it was first built.
“The preservation of this temple is being taken very, very seriously. We want to honor and respect those who came before,” said Emily Utt, historic sites curator for the church.