Washington D.C. Temple open house extended, rededication date rescheduled

With strong early response to the upcoming Washington D.C. Temple open house, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is extending the open-house period and rescheduling the temple’s rededication date.

The Church’s Temple Department released a statement Friday, Jan. 28, saying that because nearly 50% of the available parking for the initial open house was scheduled in the first two weeks after the announcement of reservations was made, the First Presidency has approved an extension of the open house and rescheduling the rededication date to Aug. 14, 2022.

“Our goal is to invite all to join us to experience the peace, beauty and connection that can be felt in the temple, and to ensure that all who desire to come have a welcoming, safe and orderly experience in this sacred place,” the statement said, adding that available dates will be published online as soon as they are determined.

Artist rendering of the celestial room in the Washington D.C. Temple.
Artist rendering of the celestial room in the Washington D.C. Temple. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Open-house tours

Free to the public, the open-house tours were originally scheduled to run from April 28 through June 4, excluding Sundays, with the first daily tour beginning at 9 a.m. and the last tour each evening being admitted at 8 p.m.

Tour tickets are not necessary for access to the temple’s open house, but reservations are required for guests needing the limited on-site parking or a shuttle provided from a nearby metro transit station.

Online reservations for parking and shuttle tickets for the Washington D.C. Temple open house opened to the public on Jan. 5. The open house will highlight the iconic temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the grounds and the on-site visitors’ center.

Open house ticket information is available at dctemple.org, which also provides information on the Washington D.C. Temple itself, the purpose of temples, photo galleries and more.

Besides tickets for the on-site parking, online reservations can be made for a free-of-charge shuttle from the Forest Glen Metro Station to the temple grounds on weekday evenings and Saturdays. Public tours last about 45 minutes and will include a self-guided walk throughout the remodeled interior of the temple. The tour includes scaling more than 150 stairs. Comfortable shoes are recommended, and wheelchair and ADA accessibility is available.

Appropriate COVID-19 protocols will be followed per public health recommendations and in cooperation with local authorities.

Dan Holt, project manager for the Washington D.C. Temple renovation project begins a tour of the gardens to the media after the news conference at the Washington D.C. Temple Visitors’ Center on July 20, 2021.
Dan Holt, project manager for the Washington D.C. Temple renovation project begins a tour of the gardens to the media after the news conference at the Washington D.C. Temple Visitors’ Center on July 20, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“We are encouraged by the intense interest from the general public for this important occasion,” said Washington D.C. Temple open house committee co-chair Kent Colton, on the opening day of parking reservations, which drew 2,000 online visitors within minutes after the reservation web site went live.

Added co-chair Kathryn Colton: “While we want to open the doors to everyone to come and see inside the temple, we encourage people to plan ahead and get their tickets as soon as possible. Our 33 days for a public open house will go very quickly.”

COVID-19 postponements

In February 2020, Church leaders announced an original Dec. 13, 2020, rededication of the Washington D.C. Temple, to be preceded by a lengthy open house and youth devotional. Several months later, Church leaders postponed all the rededication-related events due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In a July 20, 2021, media event at the Washington D.C. Temple Visitors’ Center, the 2022 rededication and open house dates were announced in a letter from the First Presidency. At the time, artist renderings of several interior areas were published online (see gallery above for renderings).

Maryland Secretary of State John Wobensmith and Jennifer Gray, the governor of Maryland's interfaith outreach director, look at an updated scale model of the Washington D.C. Temple. The model was revealed at a news conference at the temple visitors’ center on July 20, 2021.
Maryland Secretary of State John Wobensmith and Jennifer Gray, the governor of Maryland’s interfaith outreach director, look at an updated scale model of the Washington D.C. Temple. The model was revealed at a news conference at the temple visitors’ center on July 20, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Renovation

The temple was closed in 2018 to renovate mechanical and electrical systems, refresh finishes and furnishings, and expand the gardens

Known for its mid-century modern architecture and prominence along the Capital Beltway, the 160,000-square-foot temple stands on 52 acres. The temple, the Church’s 16th in operation, was announced in 1968 and dedicated six years later by President Spencer W. Kimball. Located 10 miles north of the United States Capitol, the temple serves Latter-day Saints in Washington, D.C.; Virginia; West Virginia; and Maryland.

The original public open house of the Washington D.C. Temple was attended by 758,328 guests, including Betty Ford, wife of then-U.S. President Gerald Ford.

Temple Department’s full statement

Following is the entire statement released by the Temple Department on Jan. 28:

“Following a multiyear renovation, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently announced that the Washington D.C. Temple would be open for public tours for the first time since 1974.

“We are inspired by and grateful for the response of friends, neighbors and Church members to the invitation to ‘come and see’ the renovated temple. Within two weeks of the announcement, nearly 50% of the available parking reservations were filled, and many more people have expressed interest.

“Given the historic demand to participate in the open house (which begins in April 2022), the First Presidency has now announced that the open house will be extended as needed, and the rededication of the temple will now take place on August 14, 2022.

“Our goal is to invite all to join us to experience the peace, beauty and connection that can be felt in the temple, and to ensure that all who desire to come have a welcoming, safe and orderly experience in this sacred place. We are thankful for the friends and neighbors who are helping make this open house possible. Available dates will be published online as soon as they are determined. Reservations for parking or transportation to the open house can be made by visiting www.DCTemple.org (tickets are not required for the tour).”