The latest look at the Temple Square renovation projects: A July 2021 update in 8 photos

A series of eight images — taken from high, from low and from across the street — provide an updated view on the Salt Lake Temple and Church Office Building plaza renovation projects in Salt Lake City.

The photographs and descriptions are the latest in a series of monthly updates posted Friday, July 16, on Newsroom. The temple has been closed for renovations since December 2019 and the plaza since February 2021.

An aerial view of the Salt Lake City Temple excavation and renovation project from the roof gardens of the Conference Center in Salt Lake City in July 2021.
An aerial view of the Salt Lake City Temple excavation and renovation project from the roof gardens of the Conference Center in Salt Lake City in July 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Views from the Conference Center

With the Conference Center having been reopened to the public in June, the building’s roof gardens provide a view from across North Temple Street of the excavation and renovation efforts on and around the Salt Lake Temple.

Additional and deeper excavation is planned for the Salt Lake Temple, which weighs more than 185 million pounds, or 84,000 metric tons.

The planking, or lagging, helps contain all the soil pressure from the surrounding areas as the crews begin deeper excavation in preparation to construct three lower levels of the Salt Lake Temple, as shown in July 2021.
The planking, or lagging, helps contain all the soil pressure from the surrounding areas as the crews begin deeper excavation in preparation to construct three lower levels of the Salt Lake Temple, as shown in July 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Views from below

Lagging — or planking — is used to prevent cave-ins and helps contain all the soil pressure from the surrounding areas as the crews begin deeper excavation in preparation to construct three lower levels of the temple.

These levels will include temple maintenance facilities, two baptistries, dressing rooms, sealing rooms and administrative offices.

The secant walls and buttresses contain the soil and hold the foundation of the Salt Lake Temple in place in preparation for drilling under the existing footings of the temple.
The secant walls and buttresses contain the soil and hold the foundation of the Salt Lake Temple in place in preparation for drilling under the existing footings of the temple. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

As the depth of the retaining wall increases, additional walers — or horizontal steel beams — are added to strengthen the structure.

The secant walls and buttresses contain the soil and hold the temple foundation in place in preparation for jack and bore drilling under the existing footings of the temple. This process begins in August to prepare for the new foundation that will encase the existing foundation of the temple and the base isolators designed to resist seismic events.

In preparation for seismic reinforcement, workers continue to remove stones from the top of the Salt Lake Temple’s walls and towers in Salt Lake City in July 2021.
In preparation for seismic reinforcement, workers continue to remove stones from the top of the Salt Lake Temple’s walls and towers in Salt Lake City in July 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

A view from above

Workers are removing stones from the top of the temple walls and towers in preparation for vertical seismic reinforcement. So far, approximately 1,000 stones have been removed, with another 4,000 more to go.

A machine removes damaged concrete on the Church Office Building plaza in Salt Lake City in July 2021 in preparation for grout to repair the concrete surface.
A machine removes damaged concrete on the Church Office Building plaza in Salt Lake City in July 2021 in preparation for grout to repair the concrete surface. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Concrete routing

Along the Church Office Building plaza, crews are removing damaged concrete on the surface of the existing slab, going to a depth of about 1.5 inches (4 centimeters). The removal is in preparation for the placement of high-strength grout to repair the concrete surface.

Work continues on the Church Office Building plaza in Salt Lake City in July 2021 as damaged concrete is removed to prepare for grout to repair the concrete surface.
Work continues on the Church Office Building plaza in Salt Lake City in July 2021 as damaged concrete is removed to prepare for grout to repair the concrete surface. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Also, as reported in June 2021, the North Visitors’ Center has been decommissioned prior to demolition, with all art, exhibits and artifacts in the building having been removed.

Workers wrap up the 11-foot "Christus" statue as the North Visitors'Center on Temple Square is decommissioned.
Workers wrap up the 11-foot “Christus” statue as the North Visitors’Center on Temple Square is decommissioned. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Christus— an 11-foot replica of Bertel Thorvaldsen’s famous statue that has served as a centerpiece display for nearly a half-century — was carefully boxed and removed by a crane on Monday, July 12. It will be placed in storage for preservation and will return to Temple Square at the end of the renovation process.

For more updates, visit TempleSquare.org or the Temple Square Facebook page.