Temple Square renovation update: North Visitors’ Center removed

The demolition of the North Visitors’ Center is among key efforts being made in November in the renovation of Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

The removal is part of the ongoing Temple Square project, which started with the closing of the Salt Lake Temple in December 2019 and work on the temple and surrounding grounds. Renovation expanded to the Church Office Building plaza when it closed for upgrades in February 2021.

An aerial view of the Church Office Building plaza, east of the Salt Lake Temple, where a fountain has been removed, concrete replaced, and installation of garden areas and flag display has begun. Photo taken in Salt Lake City, November 2021.
An aerial view of the Church Office Building plaza, east of the Salt Lake Temple, where a fountain has been removed, concrete replaced, and installation of garden areas and flag display has begun. Photo taken in Salt Lake City, November 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

With the removal of the visitors’ center, plans call for the area to be transformed into a contemplative garden space with unobstructed views of the temple. It will also include additional restroom facilities to support events that will be held in the nearby Salt Lake Tabernacle and the Assembly Hall.

Retaining walls surrounding the Salt Lake Temple are deepened with more excavation during the Salt Lake Temple renovation project in Salt Lake City, November 2021.
Retaining walls surrounding the Salt Lake Temple are deepened with more excavation during the Salt Lake Temple renovation project in Salt Lake City, November 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Temple Square renovations in November also included the continuing of the excavation in the area north of the Salt Lake Temple, the “jack and bore” processes of reinforcing the temple’s foundation and waterproofing on the Church Office Building plaza.

The underground tunnel that will connect lower levels of the temple to the Conference Center can be seen as excavation and retaining-wall work continue during the Salt Lake Temple renovation project in Salt Lake City, November 2021.
The underground tunnel that will connect lower levels of the temple to the Conference Center can be seen as excavation and retaining-wall work continue during the Salt Lake Temple renovation project in Salt Lake City, November 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The excavation of the area north of the temple is to accommodate the three floors of the temple addition, which will include two baptistries, added sealing rooms, dressing rooms and administrative offices.

Excavation on the north side of the Salt Lake Temple nears completion. The north addition of the temple will accommodate three additional floors for baptistries, sealing rooms, dressing rooms and offices, in Salt Lake City, November 2021.
Excavation on the north side of the Salt Lake Temple nears completion. The north addition of the temple will accommodate three additional floors for baptistries, sealing rooms, dressing rooms and offices, in Salt Lake City, November 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

In the excavated area, crews are laying concrete to create a working slab, which creates a clean and level working service for the foundation of the new floors.

Also, workers are continuing the deepen the retaining walls.

A pipe is inserted under existing footings of the temple while a fan provides fresh air to the workers who remove the soil inside the pipe as part of the “jack and bore” process amid the Salt Lake Temple renovation project. Photo taken in Salt Lake City, November 2021.
A pipe is inserted under existing footings of the temple while a fan provides fresh air to the workers who remove the soil inside the pipe as part of the “jack and bore” process amid the Salt Lake Temple renovation project. Photo taken in Salt Lake City, November 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The ongoing “jack and bore” process involves large pipes — some as long as 40 feet — under the temple’s existing footings. Pipes that are reinforced with steel and filled with structural concrete act as support beams beneath the temple’s existing foundation.

A pipe — in mid-jack-and-bore process — is inserted under the footings of the temple. A worker inside removes the soil to allow the pipe to be pushed under the existing footing.
A pipe — in mid-jack-and-bore process — is inserted under the footings of the temple. A worker inside removes the soil to allow the pipe to be pushed under the existing footing. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Work on the temple roof includes preparations for the work of vertically drilling inside the temple’s tower and wall columns. Post-tension cables will be inserted and anchored into the new foundation 80 feet or more below.

A machine is prepared to perform precision vertical drilling inside the stone of the tower and wall columns from the temple rooftop during the Salt Lake Temple renovation project in Salt Lake City, November 2021.
A machine is prepared to perform precision vertical drilling inside the stone of the tower and wall columns from the temple rooftop during the Salt Lake Temple renovation project in Salt Lake City, November 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Two large platforms have been built to create working areas for the drilling.

Crews waterproof the plaza on the south side of the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City, November 2021.
Crews waterproof the plaza on the south side of the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City, November 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Waterproofing continues on the Church Office Building plaza as is the work to create flag stands for an area of the plaza to represent the nations of the world.

A crescent-shaped flag exhibit is installed just outside the Church Office Building to display flags representing the nations of the world in Salt Lake City, Utah, November 2021.
A crescent-shaped flag exhibit is installed just outside the Church Office Building to display flags representing the nations of the world in Salt Lake City, Utah, November 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints