SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will close later this year for extensive renovation.
President Russell M. Nelson, church president, announced at a press conference Friday morning that the Salt Lake Temple will close on Dec. 29, 2019, and will remain closed for four years in order to complete its renovation.
Bishop Dean M. Davies announced that one of the biggest renovations will be the demolition of the current temple entry and annex, with construction of new entryways.
When construction is completed, patrons at the temple will enter the temple through new entry pavilions on the north side of the temple and will travel through a “grand hall” area. This area will include large skylights that will provide natural light to this area underground.
Portions of the wall around the temple will be removed to provide a more open view and access to the temple grounds.
The church stated that the South Visitor’s Center on Temple Square will be demolished and replaced with two visitor’s pavilions.
The project will also include installation of a base isolation system, which will hep in protection against earthquake forces. The church said that this installation will require deep excavations around the temple.
Improvements will also be made to mechanical systems and the deck surrounding the temple and work will be made to incorporate more language services in the temple.
The renovation project will also overhaul areas of Temple Square and the adjoining plaza.
There are no plans to officially reassign members in the Salt Lake Temple to attend other temples during the closure. Members in those areas can attend any other temple of their choosing, including the Ogden, Bountiful, Jordan River, Draper and Oquirrh Mountain temples. Those temples are making preparations for additional patrons.
The original construction on the Salt Lake Temple began with a ground breaking on Feb. 14, 1853. It was officially dedicated 40 years later on April 6, 1893.
Temple Square includes several buildings outside of the Salt Lake Temple, including the Salt Lake Tabernacle which was built in 1867. There are also two visitor’s centers where people can learn more about Latter-day Saint beliefs.
East of temple square in the area of the Main Street Plaza is the 28-story Church Office Building, built in 1972. The Church Administration Building and Joseph Smith Memorial Building are also located in this area.
The church says that it is anticipated that the North Visitors’ Center, Tabernacle and Assembly Hall will remain open to the public during construction.