Salt Lake Temple renovation update: Finding square-headed nails; tunnel is nearly complete

Renovation crews have found square-headed nails as they work on the Salt Lake Temple, according to a Thursday, May 6, update on the Church’s Newsroom.

“These show some of the workmanship and materials used to build the Salt Lake Temple, which was finished in 1893,” the update notes. The longest nails are 6 inches long and show few signs of corrosion. 

The Salt Lake Temple renovation project was announced in April 2019 and began at the end of December 2019. It is expected to take four years. It includes replacing the temple’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, seismic upgrades, along with restoring and refreshing the temple interior and grounds.    

Other updates on the renovation include the tunnel under North Temple reaching the Conference Center, more scaffolding going up and preparation for a tower crane. A truck washing bay has also been installed.  

Here are some of the recent updates:   

  • Tunnel: Workers have drilled to the end of the 180-foot tunnel going under North Temple to connect the Conference Center’s parking to the temple’s new underground entrance. A concrete wall in the Conference Center parking structure will be removed later.  

A drilling machine removed the soil on the upper part of the tunnel and an excavator hauls away both the soil from the upper and lower parts of the tunnel. Arch supports were installed at every 4 feet, according to a previous update.

  • More excavation: In addition to the tunnel, crews are preparing to install a tower crane on the north side of the temple. A concrete foundation will be poured for it. Around the site, lagging is keeping the soil in place.  
Scaffolding is being installed on the north wall of the Salt Lake Temple as part of the renovation project. It's already installed on the south side and is being installed on the north and west walls. It will eventually surround the temple.
Scaffolding is being installed on the north wall of the Salt Lake Temple as part of the renovation project. It’s already installed on the south side and is being installed on the north and west walls. It will eventually surround the temple. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Scaffolding: It covers the south side of the temple and workers have been putting it on the west and north sides. Scaffolding will eventually surround the temple.  
Crews continue to remove stones from the top of the Salt Lake Temple as part of the renovation project in May 2021. The stones are being repaired, if needed, cleaned and labeled to be installed in the exact spot.
Crews continue to remove stones from the top of the Salt Lake Temple as part of the renovation project in May 2021. The stones are being repaired, if needed, cleaned and labeled to be installed in the exact spot. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Stones: Rows of stones from the temple walls continue to be removed by crews for repair and cleaning. Each stone is being labeled to be returned to its original spot.  
The Salt Lake Temple renovation site has a truck washing bay, notes the May 6, 2021, update. Before vehicles exit the temple renovation site onto South Temple street, wheels, axles, mud flaps and other parts of each vehicle are thoroughly sprayed.
The Salt Lake Temple renovation site has a truck washing bay, notes the May 6, 2021, update. Before vehicles exit the temple renovation site onto South Temple street, wheels, axles, mud flaps and other parts of each vehicle are thoroughly sprayed. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Truck wash: Before exiting the renovation site onto South Temple, each vehicle is sprayed, including its wheels, axles and mud flaps. 
Looking west on the Church Office Building plaza, shows the Church Administration Building, left, the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, center, and Church Office Building, right, in May 2021. Crews are using conveyor belts to move soil and debris to a truck loading location.
Looking west on the Church Office Building plaza, shows the Church Administration Building, left, the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, center, and Church Office Building, right, in May 2021. Crews are using conveyor belts to move soil and debris to a truck loading location. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Church Office Building plaza renovation: As crews remove the fountains and other structures, they are using conveyor belts to move soil and debris to a truck loading location. Trucks enter the site from North Temple and, after the above mentioned wash, exit onto South Temple.  

The plaza renovation — which includes a new waterproofing system, removing the circular fountain and creating green space and gardens — was announced in January and is expected to last about 18 months.