Major Structural, Seismic Renovations Underway At Salt Lake Temple

Mar 31, 2020, 6:34 PM | Updated: Apr 2, 2020, 11:03 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The April 2020 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will look a lot different, even beyond the challenges of coronavirus. The historic Salt Lake Temple has been closed, and work has begun on a four-year renovation project.

Church leaders announced the 127-year-old structure would undergo seismic upgrades and some work on the inside.

They said the massive project includes much more than the temple itself.

Project managers said this is a once-in-a-lifetime project – a huge and major undertaking on the grounds of the temple, on its foundation and on the inside.

The combination of projects have never been done before within the Church.

“This is the icon of the Church. This is the Mountain of the House in the hills,” said Bishop Dean M. Davies, first counselor in the Church’s Presiding Bishopric.

The beautiful and majestic Salt Lake Temple has served as a symbol of the sacrifice and faith of the early pioneers.

“When it comes to temples, there aren’t any projects bigger than this one, more complex, (or) more impactful. It literally affects every department on the church headquarters campus,” Bishop Davies said.

To begin with, the temple needs to be updated to withstand a large magnitude earthquake. The 5.7 magnitude earthquake in March was evidence of that. The shaking caused the trumpet of the Angel Moroni statue on the top of the temple spire to fall.

The seismic upgrades involves digging below the foundation of the temple, and placing hundreds of base isolators below to hold up the granite structure.

“We are going to save the initial foundation. We are going to save the footings. We are going to save everything we possible can, because they are historic – but (also because) the temple and the bulk of its weight will be sitting on the base isolators,” said Brent Roberts, managing director of special projects.

All the aging mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems will also be replaced. A complete makeover will take place on the temple grounds and inside the temple.

Officials said the goal was to bring back the historic pioneer look from the 1800s.

“We are really working hard to make sure our contribution can be as much of a monument to them as it is a monument to the church,” said church historian Emily Utt.

Church leaders said they hoped the temple would continue to stand as a beacon of light to people across the world.

“We will strive to preserve its reverence, setting and character as originally directed by President Brigham Young,” said President Russell M. Nelson during the April 2019 General Conference. “We promise that you will love the results.”

The closure of the temple and construction work does not shut down Temple Square. The east end of the square was still open and the Conference Center across the street has turned into a new visitor center, where there was still plenty to see and do.

A special 30-minute in-depth look into the massive project will air Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. on KSL TV and the KSL TV app.

3 ways to watch all the inspiring documentaries exclusive to KSL TV:

These documentaries are available anytime, anywhere you want to watch.

  1. ONLINE at
  2. MOBILE APPS: The KSL TV app is free, with no cable subscription required – and it’s available for a variety of smart TV and smartphone platforms including iOS, and Android.
  3. CONNECTED TV: KSLtv apps  are available for free on Amazon FireRokuiOSAndroid and Apple TV.
KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


A Sacred Monument...

WATCH: Washington DC Temple — A Sacred Monument in a City of Monuments

Towering 288 feet above the skyline in Maryland, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint Washington DC temple has been a landmark in the nation’s capital for nearly 50 years.
2 months ago
Mike Headrick, KSL TV

Blind Faith

For two nights a week over four months out of the year, the Stang Aquatic Center in Hyrum, Utah, is home to one of the best high school water polo teams in the state: The Cache Valley Kraken.
1 year ago
Candice Madsen, Bonneville

All In

What does it mean to be “all in” the gospel of Jesus Christ in the latter days?
1 year ago
Angie Denison, KSL TV

A Great Work: The Power in Us

The prophet for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has called upon the Church's youth to lay the foundation of a great work.
1 year ago
Carole Mikita, KSL TV

Sacred Images

During the pandemic, leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints requested a new vision for the foyers or entryways of Church meetinghouses – the art to reflect a deeper reverence for the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 year ago
Screengrab from documentary....
Sarah Jane Weaver, KSL TV

Documentary: Senior Church leaders talk about the power of councils and their role ‘Inside Church Headquarters’

A look at the inner workings at Church Headquarters for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
1 year ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Major Structural, Seismic Renovations Underway At Salt Lake Temple