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St. George Temple Closes for 3-Year Renovation, See Pictures of What the Temple Will Look Like

by | Nov. 04, 2019

Mormon Life

Beginning today, November 4, the St. George Utah Temple will be closed for several years as the Pioneer-era temple undergoes extensive structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and finish work. The renovation is expected to be completed in 2022. 

In the April 2019 general conference, President Russell M. Nelson announced:

"We now have 162 dedicated temples. The earliest ones stand as monuments to the faith and vision of our beloved pioneers. Each temple constructed by them resulted from their great personal sacrifice and effort. Each one stands as a stunning jewel in the crown of pioneer achievement.

"Ours is a sacred responsibility to care for them. Therefore, these pioneer temples will soon undergo a period of renewal and refreshing and, for some, a major restoration. Efforts will be made to preserve the unique historicity of each temple wherever possible, preserving the inspiring beauty and unique craftsmanship of generations long-since passed."

Earlier this year, the Church released detailed plans for the upcoming closure and renovation of the St. George Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at a news conference in the St. George Temple Visitors’ Center. 

Renovation plans for the east view of the St. George Utah Temple

Renovation plans for the bride's exit of the St. George Utah Temple

“This is one of the beautiful, premier temples in the Church,” said Brent Roberts, managing director of the Church’s Special Projects Department. “Latter-day Saints have worshipped here for almost 150 years. However, the building has worn out over time, and it is once again time for us to refresh and strengthen this historic structure for future generations to enjoy.”

Renovation plans for the baptistry plaza of the St. George Utah Temple

At the news conference, Church representatives shared interior and exterior project renderings and site plans. The entire temple block will be improved with new walkways, landscaping, water features, and additional shade trees. A new brides’ exit and plaza will be added to the east side of the annex, and a new baptistry entrance and exit will be added on the temple’s south side.

Renovation plans for the north view of the St. George Utah Temple

The upper portion of the existing annex will be demolished and replaced with a design that will complement the historic structure. Additionally, limited seismic upgrades will be made by adding steel to the temple’s original wood trusses. Some excavation around the temple’s foundation will also be required to install new mechanical heating and cooling systems.

“This renovation will be carried out with the finest materials and workmanship available,” said Andy Kirby, director of historic temple renovations. “The finished product will become a cherished part of the community and further add to the rich history of this magnificent temple in southern Utah.”

Renovation plans for the baptistry of the St. George Utah Temple

Renovation plans for an instruction room of the St. George Utah Temple

Renovation plans for the celestial room of the St. George Utah Temple

Renovation plans for the recommend desk of the St. George Utah Temple

Renovation plans for the sealing room of the St. George Utah Temple

Renovation plans for an instruction room of the St. George Utah Temple

Renovation plans for the priesthood room of the St. George Utah Temple

Renovation plans for an instruction room of the St. George Utah Temple

The St. George Utah Temple is one of the most historically significant buildings in the Church. Construction began in November 1871, and the temple was dedicated April 6, 1877. Since its dedication, the temple has undergone several significant renovations. The cupola was replaced in 1883 after a lightning strike, and the first annex was added that same year. Additional renovations were completed in 1917, 1938, and 1975. In 1999, the baptistry was renovated. 

A picture of the St. George Utah Temple circa 1900

“The St. George Temple represents the devotion, sacrifice and faith of early members of the Church. This temple was built by hand in the desert as an expression of their faith,” said Emily Utt, historic sites curator with the Church History Department. “We believe the current plans to preserve, restore and renovate this sacred place will honor those who came before while also improving the temple’s safety and function for patrons.”

The St. George Utah Temple serves Latter-day Saints in southwestern Utah and parts of Nevada and Arizona. During the renovation, patrons are invited to attend other nearby temples in Cedar City, Utah, and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Picture of the present day St. George Utah Temple

The Temple Visitors’ Center will remain open during construction, but there will be no access to the temple site during that time. The annual Christmas light display will not take place during construction.

“Many years of planning have preceded this next major renovation for the St. George Utah Temple,” said Chris Robbins, senior project manager. “We have taken great care to consider the patrons, the building’s functionality and the hallowed site it resides on. We have been guided by the historic significance of this great pioneer-era temple and the celebrated place it holds in the state of Utah.”

All images from the Church's newsroom
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