Monday, January 30, 2023

RENOVATION? Really? Latest on the progress of the Salt Lake Temple Project

The Church announced in 2019  that the Salt Lake Temple, a sacred historical structure of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would undergo a multiyear seismic upgrade and renovation project in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Renovation means the process of repairing a building so that it is in good condition again. 

However, despite only announcing to the members that the Salt Lake Temple would be a renovation project, almost ever building on Temple Square has been demolished and or completely gutted. Three more building will now go under "renovations" The Beehive House, The Lion House and the Joseph Smith Memorial Buildings. All of these building are now closed and will be for many years. Projected dates for completion is not until 2025.   Click for Church announcement LINK

Here is a recent Google Maps aerial view of Temple Square,-111.8913918,363m/data=!3m1!1e3

The Church released an article about the progress of the "renovation". Here are one of the comments that I read:

“This is the saddest thing I've ever seen, for Latter-day Saint heritage -- they basically decapitated, gutted, jacked up, and removed from its foundation -- one of America's most-iconic, most-recognizable, most-historic, and most-sacred structures. They put the interior through a wood-chipper. Almost nothing of the original exists now except that the granite is being re-used on the outside of an all-new steel and concrete building. I'm not diminishing the importance of a new temple to the living and dead members. I know that many people find joy in newness, and spiritual gratitude from more ordinances per day. But this is like shredding an 1830 original first edition Book of Mormon, to use the paper pulp to print a new replica, because the newly-printed Book of Mormon might convert a tourist. The old copy would have converted more. The theologians and marketers have their reasons, but legitimate historians should be horrified. I'm a Mormon material culture historian, not a theologian, in this context...I'm also a libertarian who thinks property owners have an ethical right to wreck their own historic property, as they did. But there are other moral stakeholders in a community, too. What in incalculable loss to the whole church, community, city, and country, and the pioneers, due to high-technology owners who do not seem to value preservation, architecture, or history. John Hajicek (Jan 25, 2023):

This project is MUCH MORE than just renovations. Not quite sure what all of this new construction is just North of the Salt Lake Temple? Looks bigger than the foundation of the Temple itself.


Dax said...

From the original dedicatory prayer for this sacred building:

“Preserve these buildings, we beseech Thee, from injury or destruction by flood or fire; from the rage of the elements, the shafts of the vivid lightning, the overwhelming blasts of the hurricane, the flames of consuming fire, and the upheavals of the earth-quake, O Lord, protect them.”

Why was all the earthquake proofing needed when this prayer had been offered? Feels like leaders are reeking of unbelief. I read this prayer and see how every portion of the temple was loved and respected. So much sacrifice went into building it - where is the respect for it now? Where is the sacrifice? I don’t think I will ever set foot into it - I want to remember it how it used to be. What an absolute tragedy.

Anonymous said...

Torn apart, and now RMN has a HUGE grave monument from that temple granite installed at his resting place in the SLC Cemetery. One of my ancestors was a superintendent in the construction of this temple and it's heartbreaking to witness the destruction. Monstrous.

Anonymous said...

I can’t think of a better way for the LDS church to spend their 100 Billion dollars to stay tax exempt. Think about it, if a company with that amount of accrued wealth had to spend so much per year to stay tax exempt, this is the perfect project. It would be interesting to know how much this “renovation” is costing the church. Would members be outraged if they knew that the church was putting more tithing money towards construction cost of the down town buildings than on feeding the poor. In my opinion, the buildings don’t need to be renovated, but the LDS church found a way to spend a big chunk of money to stay tax free.

Anonymous said...

I googled how much renovation of down town church buildings is costing and this is what I found. Mind you, this is only the cost to renovate the temple. Add onto that the Joseph smith building, Lion house, beehive house and the new construction of a building shown
Google comment below
That was in 1890s dollars. In today's dollars you would have to miltiply that figure by 30 or so. The following site estimates the cost in today's dollars as nearly $90 million. The Church used to report the construction costs for temples around the world prior to 1982 in the Deseret News Church Almanac

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 8:20am -

You'd be surprised at WON'T get LDS members upset. Far as most of them are concerned, any money spent by the brethren is done at the Lord's direction.

I stand by what I think: most of this is done to further Nelson's ego.

It's funny how active Latter-Day Saints will consider Brigham Young to be a prophet, but apparently he wasn't good enough to prevent damage to the temple via a dedicatory prayer. Apparently, we need modern engineering to handle that.

Anonymous said...

Just an interesting note. I spoke with a guy a few weeks ago who is a foreman for one of the construction companies responsible for the salt lake temple remodel. He says they are in way over their heads and are possibly 3 to 5 years behind schedule. They keep having to rework things. So that is going to increase the cost even more.