Salt Lake Temple and Temple Square Renovation: 2022 Highlights


With the Salt Lake Temple and Temple Square Seismic Renovation and Upgrade Project marking its second anniversary earlier this year, 2022 has seen significant — and visible — construction and expansion, not just effort. predominant dismantling, demolition and removal of the first two years in and around the temple.

The decommissioning of the temple included the removal of furniture, lights and carpeting inside, while outside the demolition of the old temple annex was prepared for the massive 65ft excavation deep on the north side of the temple for the new three story addition.

Highlights of 2022 included the preparation and start of new construction of the North Annex, the new guest building and the pavilions, as well as the jacking and drilling processes used for the reinforcement of the temple foundation. and seismic improvements.

For seismic upgrades, the temple is first bound together – stones, towers and roof trusses. The basic insulation system then creates a separation from the earth, allowing the ground to move but not the building.

Below are some of the highlights, efforts and areas of the project so far in 2022.

Renovation crews dig in front of the East Towers of the Salt Lake Temple in preparation for a concrete slab that will support equipment needed for the jack-and-bore process, Salt Lake City, January 2022.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Jack and bore

With the use of reinforced steel tubing, the jack-and-bore process is key to the temple’s seismic upgrade, suspending the 187 million-pound building as crews dig 20 feet below its age-old foundation. nearly 170 years in downtown Salt Lake. Town.

And the result is a new foundation to give strength, stability and mobility to the temple during an earthquake. The planning is high tech, but the digging under the foundation is tedious – done by hand, one inch at a time, going in and out of 4-foot-diameter steel pipes.

Lifting involves pushing the pipe into place with hydraulic jacks, and drilling involves digging – usually done with large augers. However, due to the large rocks found in the foundation and the need for precision, the drilling is done by hand – measured by hand, dug by hand and then confirmed with a laser.

For the Salt Lake Temple project, the jack and drill will place 96 pipes 20 to 40 feet long under the temple. Pipes connect cables, rods, trusses, and transfer bases and are attached to the spires, roof, and building so that the temple moves as a solid structure during an earthquake.


Three-story addition of new temple space begins to take shape during the Salt Lake City Temple Renovation Project, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 2022.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

North addition

Excavation to the north of the temple for the addition of this side went 30 feet beyond the depth of the old annex since removed, with excavation on other sides of the temple to help continue efforts stabilization.

Large concrete pours were common on the north side – first for the foundation of the three-level addition, then for the installation of walls and columns to support the upper floors. By May, pouring had begun for the floors of the addition.

The new addition will house baptisteries, sealing rooms, changing rooms, administrative offices and more.


A rendering shows the pavilions completed as part of the Temple Square renovation project in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

South, North Visitor Centers

Gone are the visitor centers either side of Temple Square proper, as 2022 saw the demolition and removal of the northern center and the completion of the demolition and excavation of its southern counterpart. And not only are the structures themselves gone, but also the “visitor center” labels.

With the recently completed excavation at the South Center, crews are beginning to erect the new multi-level guest building and planned above-ground pavilions therein. Together, they will provide visitors with an experience to help understand Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness, the role of the Savior Jesus Christ in that plan, the purposes of temples to unite families for eternity, and the importance of families. as the foundation of society.


One of the last renderings of the planned renovations for Temple Square and the Main Street Plaza in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Offering a direct and unobstructed view of the temple from its southern side, the pavilions will be connected by the large underground exhibition and guest building toilets. The lower level will feature an ongoing open house experience in the temple, including replicas of sacred ordinance rooms found in the temple, such as a baptismal font, and instruction, sealing, and celestial rooms.


This September 2022 photo shows the area where the South Visitor Center used to be on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the start of construction of a new multi-level guest building with new exhibits of guests.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The upper level will house a statue of Jesus Christ and an updated cutaway model of the Salt Lake Temple.

In the space where the North Center used to be, new sanitary facilities will be used for those attending events at the Tabernacle and the nearby meeting hall. A newly designed contemplative garden and landscaping are being installed, along with a new drilled water well.


Progress on the renovation of the Church Office Building plaza can be seen from this August 2022 aerial view of downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, looking east. When completed, the square will include new gardens, walking paths and an international display of the national flag.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Work in early 2022 included removing damaged concrete to a depth of 2 to 2.5 inches, waterproofing repaired concrete surfaces, installing large polystyrene blocks under landscaped areas to reduce load on the existing concrete deck.


Bright orange conduit is installed before concrete is poured for a new sidewalk. Heated duct will provide winter snow-free walkways in Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 2022.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Later, snowmelt conduits were placed where sidewalks had to be poured with concrete to provide snow-free access in winter. Fountain and garden renovations continued, with some walls near State Street featuring new stonework. In addition, the square received new stone paving and masonry.

The plaza part of the project should be finished by the end of this year.


View from the Salt Lake Temple facing the Wasatch Mountains to the east. The tower of the church office building and the Relief Society building are visible on the left with the Joseph Smith Memorial Building on the right. The round flat space at the bottom marks where the reflecting pool once stood on Main Street Plaza, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 2022.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

main street square

In March, the Church released renderings of how renovations to Main Street Plaza — the area connecting the North Temple and South Temple — will tie into those of Temple Square proper and the east side of the Church’s headquarters. ‘Church.

The square closed in April for major renovations and refinements, with the existing planter areas, reflecting pool and walkways removed.


Main Street Plaza gardens, reflection pond and decorative landscaping being removed to repair and add new waterproofing to the decking that covers the underground employee parking lot as part of the Temple Square renovation project in Salt Lake City, Utah, August 2022.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Work includes inspecting and repairing the plaza bridge, updating the waterproofing system, refurbishing the north and south entrance fountains, installing a larger reflecting pool in the center of the plaza and refreshed landscaping to better integrate the plaza with the temple grounds and church office. Square of the building.


20190422 The Salt Lake Temple nearing completion with a large crowd gathered for the cornerstone laying ceremony. The temple was dedicated in April 1893.

Courtesy of Church History Library, Courtesy of Church History Library

Salt Lake Temple—Key Dates

  • Announcement —July 28, 1847, by President Brigham Young
  • revolutionary —February 14, 1853, by President Young
  • Dedication – April 6, 1893, by President Wilford Woodruff
  • Original annex demolished — 1962
  • Officially dedicated north annex — October 23, 1967
  • Announced renovations —April 19, 2019, by President Russell M. Nelson
  • Temple closed for renovation — December 29, 2019
  • Planned completion of renovations — 2025

President Russell M. Nelson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, tours the renovations at the Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City Saturday, May 22, 2021.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

quote worthy

  • “I want to see the temple built to last through the millennium.” – President Brigham Young, during the construction of the Salt Lake Temple in the second half of the 19th century
  • “We promise you will love the results. They will highlight and showcase the life, ministry, and mission of Jesus Christ in His desire to bless every nation, family, tongue, and people. — President Russell M. Nelson , announcing April 19, 2019, the December 29 closure and multi-year renovation project for the Salt Lake Temple and surrounding grounds
  • “Yes, the house of the Lord is beautiful and should be beautiful and should be well done, but it is the beauty of the ordinances and the sanctity of what happens in the temple that is really important. —Brent Roberts, managing director of the Church’s Special Projects Department, on the restoration of the Salt Lake Temple

The Conference Center and Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Friday, September 9, 2022.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News


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