The iconic Salt Lake City temple will close for four years to complete a major renovation. Authorities are also keeping a careful eye on construction plans after a devastating fire this week at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.
President Russell M. Nelson, leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said Friday that the Salt Lake Temple will close Dec. 29 of this year to update the building, help it withstand earthquakes and create a more welcoming visitor environment.
“In-depth studies have been made to determine its current physical condition. Many areas have been identified that need attention, and now is the time that we should proceed,” Nelson said.
The stately granite temple is open only to church members for marriages and other ceremonies, but the building and surrounding plaza are among the state's top tourist destinations.
Ceremonies in the Salt Lake Temple of been presented in a live format, compared to the majority of the other LDS temples which use video. Elder Larry Wilson says the renovation will allow both to take place.
“We expect the Salt Lake Temple will offer both live presentation and film presentation of the temple ceremony upon the conclusion of the renovation. So, it will be unique in that regard in the church and it will provide two things – one is a connection to the way things have been done since the beginning of the Salt Lake Temple as well as an opportunity to enjoy the more contemporary way in which they are presented in all of those 86+ languages,” Wilson said.
When the temple re-opens in 2024, a brief open house will give outsiders their first glimpse of the interior in more than a century.
Further renovation plans can be found here.