The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced in April of this year that the Salt Lake Temple and Temple Square would receive extensive renovations.
“We promise that you will love the results,” said President Nelson about the plans for the Salt Lake Temple renovations. “They will emphasize and highlight the life, ministry and mission of Jesus Christ in His desire to bless every nation, kindred, tongue and people.”
What will happen?
When the Church announced the renovations, it explained a number of changes and upgrades that would be made:
- The temple upgrades will help the structure withstand an earthquake.
- There will also be a new tunnel added underneath North Temple Street. The tunnel gives access to the temple from the Conference Center parking area.
- The South Visitors’ Center will be removed from Temple Square and replaced.
- The plaza in between the temple and State Street and the Church Office Building, Church Administration Building and Joseph Smith Memorial Building will undergo renovation and improvements.
- There will be new entrances added to Temple Square. A virtual walk-through from the Church showcases these new entrances.
When will the temple open again?
The Salt Lake Temple is expected to open again in 2024, and the Church will host a public open house once the renovations are finished.
“This will be an incredible opportunity,” said Bishop Dean M. Davies, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, in a Church News article. “For generations, only faithful members have been able to enter the Salt Lake Temple. Now everyone — people of our faith, other faiths or no faith — will be able to come to the temple.”
“We want everyone to know they are welcome,” Bishop Davies continued. “We want them to come and see and feel why this temple is so beautiful to us. We want it to be their temple, too. The temple is part of the community.”
What about traffic?
At the time of the Salt Lake Temple announcement, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert noted that there would be potential traffic problems due to the construction in the area, according to the Deseret News.
“So I’m hopeful that tourism doesn’t wane at all,” the governor told reporters at the time.
“It will maybe increase, in fact, as people come here and see our beautiful capital city and our wonderful state and — most importantly — our wonderful people that reside here,” he said.
Brent Roberts, director of special projects for the Church, told the Deseret News that they are considering this a “major construction project” and that Church officials will work within guidelines of city noise and ordinances throughout the process.
Is anything open?
The following locations will remain open at Temple Square:
- Salt Lake Tabernacle
- North Visitors’ Center
- Assembly Hall
- Joseph Smith Memorial Building
- Church Office Building
- Relief Society Building
- Church Administration Building
- Beehive House
- Lion House.