From the Church

See photos of the Salt Lake Temple renovation progress from September

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This story is a reverse-chronological timeline of updates related to the Salt Lake Temple renovation and will be updated throughout the project. Find more information at templesquare.org.  All photos are © 2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

September 2021 Construction Update

Newsroom published the following construction update on September 23, 2021. 

Over the past month, the Salt Lake Temple has begun “jack and bore,” a major seismic strengthening process in which steel pipes, 3.5 to 4 feet in diameter, are inserted below its existing foundations. The soil is removed from inside the pipe as it is gradually inserted horizontally. Each pipe under the temple towers is 40 feet long, made from two 20-foot-long segments welded together. The soil inside the pipes will initially be removed by hand to ensure the pipes are precisely installed. The gap between the outside surface of the pipe and the surrounding soil is then filled with grout. After the pipes are installed, they will be filled with reinforced steel, including post-tensioning strands, and high-strength concrete. The entire existing foundation of the temple will be supported by 92 such pipes.

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Crews insert a steel pipe below the existing foundation of the Salt Lake Temple as part of a seismic strengthening process called jack and bore, Salt Lake City, Utah, September 2021.

The first pipe was inserted in late August under the east towers.

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Forty-foot-long pipes are used to strengthen the temple’s foundation against earthquakes, Salt Lake City, Utah, September 2021.
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Construction workers fill the new pipes in the foundation with reinforced steel, Salt Lake City, Utah, September 2021.

On the north side of the temple, the excavation has continued past the level of the entrance tunnel. This excavation will provide space for three new underground floors, which will be used as an addition to the temple. The tunnel will connect the Salt Lake Temple to the underground parking garage in the Conference Center to provide safer and easier access to those visiting the sacred edifice.

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Crews excavate past the level of the entrance tunnel on the north side of the temple, Salt Lake City, Utah, September 2021.
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Additional excavation creates room for three new levels of the temple, Salt Lake City, Utah, September 2021.

Two new trusses were installed on the roof of the temple. Three of the eight areas (or bays) have already been completed as part of the truss installation. The roof is closed each time new trusses are installed to protect the interior finishes of the historic building.

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Installation of two new trusses on the roof is completed, Salt Lake City, Utah, September 2021.

The secant wall that acts as a retaining wall around the temple continues to be excavated to prepare for the three future floors underground and to contain the soil under the temple.

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The secant wall surrounding the temple is uncovered to prepare for the three future floors underground, Salt Lake City, Utah, September 2021.
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Members of the renovation team dig to prepare the secant wall for new underground levels that will be added to the temple, Salt Lake City, Utah, September 2021.
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Aerial view of Temple Square during its renovation, Salt Lake City, Utah, September 2021.
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Scaffolding and cranes seen from the north side of the Salt Lake Temple during its lengthy renovation project, Salt Lake City, Utah, September 2021.


August 2021 Construction Update

Newsroom published the following construction update on August 18, 2021. 

As the renovation of Temple Square and the Church Office Building Plaza enters its 20th month, the following video and photos below give a glimpse of the past three months of work on this enormous project. The most recent construction undertakings include the reinforcement of the temple roof, continued renovation of the Church Office Building Plaza to the east, and additional excavation on the north side of the temple.

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Video Companion
Salt Lake Temple Renovation Continues: August 2021 Update

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Riggers prepare the 90-foot truss for flight via crane to the roof of the Salt Lake Temple in June 2021. The 35,000-pound steel framework will help strengthen the attic for new mechanical equipment and tie in the roof to the foundation to help stiffen the temple as part of the seismic upgrade. The photo was taken in August 2021.
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 An 8,000 pound air-handler unit being installed. This piece of equipment will handle the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system for the temple. Photo taken from YouTube screenshot.
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Names J.W. Edwards and C. W. Clayton carved on the Salt Lake Temple trusses installed in the 1800s. During the temple's seismic upgrade, these old trusses briefly sit next to their modern-day counterparts before being removed. Photo taken from YouTube screenshot.
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Crews removing all of the asbestos-laden waterproofing from the top of the roof deck of the employee parking structure just below the Church Office Building Plaza. The photo was taken in August 2021. 
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In early August, the north crane foundation was poured using 350 cubic yards or 267 cubic meters of concrete. This will allow for a second tower crane to be built that will be 250 feet or 83 meters in height. The photo was taken in August 2021.
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 A view from the roof of the Salt Lake Temple in June 2021. Crews are preparing the north side for construction of an underground three-level addition. The photo was taken in August 2021.

Excavation has reached 45 feet below street level on the north side of the Salt Lake Temple. Twenty more feet of soil will be removed before construction begins on the three-level underground north addition. These facilities will include the baptismal fonts, additional sealing rooms, dressing rooms, administrative offices and so forth.

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The secant wall, made up of rows of interlocking concrete and steel columns, 85 feet deep, shores up the temple foundation for excavation of the three-level underground north addition. Beams attached to the wall, called walers, help keep the soil in place by fastening long tension cables deep into the earth with grout. The photo was taken in August 2021.

July 2021 Construction Update

Newsroom published the following construction update on July 16, 2021. 

As Temple Square has begun reopening to the public, visitors are wondering what is happening with the Salt Lake Temple renovation. At the Conference Center, the roof gardens provide a view of the renovation project, as shown in the following photo.

Aerial view of the Salt Lake City Temple excavation and renovation project, Salt Lake City, July 2021.

The lagging shown in the next photo, used to prevent cave-ins, helps contain all the soil pressure from the surrounding areas as the crews begin deeper excavation in preparation to construct three lower levels of the temple. These floors will include temple maintenance facilities, two baptistries, dressing rooms, sealing rooms, administrative offices, and more. As the depth of the retaining wall increases, additional walers (horizontal steel beams) are added to strengthen the structure.

The planking, or lagging, helps contain all the soil pressure from the surrounding areas as the crews begin deeper excavation in preparation to construct three lower levels of the temple, Salt Lake City, July 2021.

The secant walls and buttresses shown below are reminiscent of fortresses. They contain the soil and hold the foundation of the temple in place in preparation for jack and bore drilling under the existing footings of the temple. This process will begin in August to prepare for the new foundation that will encase the existing foundation of the temple and the base isolators designed to resist seismic events.

The secant walls and buttresses contain the soil and hold the foundation of the temple in place in preparation for drilling under the existing footings of the temple, Salt Lake City, July 2021.

Workers continue to remove stones from the top of the temple walls and towers in preparation for vertical seismic reinforcement. So far, approximately 1,000 stones have been removed, with 4,000 more to go.

Workers continue to remove stones from the top of the temple walls and towers in preparation for seismic reinforcement, Salt Lake City, July 2021.

On the Church Office Building plaza, crews remove damaged concrete on the surface of the existing slab to a depth of about 1.5 inches (4 centimeters). The machine in the photo below removes the damaged concrete in preparation for the placement of high-strength grout to repair the concrete surface.

On the Church Office Building plaza, machines remove damaged concrete in preparation for grout to repair the concrete surface, Salt Lake City, July 2021.

Work continues on the Church Office Building plaza as damaged concrete is removed to prepare for grout to repair the concrete surface, Salt Lake City, July 2021.

A view of the Salt Lake City Utah Temple from the Church Office Building plaza as work continues on the Temple Square renovation project, Salt Lake City, July 2021.

As announced in June 2021, the North Visitors’ Center has been decommissioned. All art, exhibits, and artifacts in the building have been removed. The “Christus” statue was carefully boxed and removed by a crane on Monday, July 12, 2021. It will be placed in storage for preservation and will return to Temple Square at the end of the renovation process.

For more updates, visit TempleSquare.org or the Temple Square Facebook page.

June 2021 Construction Update

Newsroom published the following construction update on June 21, 2021. 

The Salt Lake Temple has been closed for renovation since December 2019. The Church Office Building plaza closed for an upgrade in February 2021. The following is the latest in a series of regular updates about these projects.

Over the past month and a half, four steel trusses have been added to the roof of the Salt Lake Temple.

The existing steel trusses (painted yellow in the photos below) will remain and are paired, side by side, with the new trusses as part of the seismic design of the temple. The new trusses are erected two at a time to control the exposure of the existing roof. Each new truss weighs about 35,000 pounds (15 metric tons) and is 88 feet (27 meters) long at the bottom. Once a pair of new trusses is in place, cross bracing is installed to immediately provide lateral bracing. The bracing is not welded in place but secured by nuts and bolts to avoid the risk of fire.

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Crews prepare to place a new truss on the temple. New trusses weigh about 35,000 lbs or about 15 metric tons and is 88 feet long or 27 meters long at the bottom, Salt Lake City, June 2021.
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Cranes help lift new trusses which are erected two at a time to control the exposure of the existing roof, Salt Lake City, June 2021.
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Crew members pair existing steel trusses (painted in yellow) side by side with new trusses as part of the seismic design of the Temple, Salt Lake City, June 2021.
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Steel trusses are prepared for placement on the Salt Lake Temple roof as part of the renovation, Salt Lake City, June 2021.
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Crews prepare to lift new steel trusses into place, Salt Lake City, June 2021.
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The renovation of the Salt Lake Temple moves forward as workers create and place steel trusses on the roof as part of a seismic upgrade, Salt Lake City, June 2021.

The deep secant wall, with buttresses that were previously built, is being gradually exposed to prepare for further deep excavation needed to construct three additional floors of the temple facilities. These facilities will be directly north of the temple and include the baptismal fonts, additional sealing rooms, dressing rooms, administrative offices and so forth. The buttresses of the secant wall will also resist the loads and lateral forces from the massive weight of the temple, which exceeds 185 million pounds (84,000 metric tons).

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Further excavation is planned on the Temple, which weighs more than 185 million pounds or 84,000 metric tons, Salt Lake City, June 2021.
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The previously built buttresses on a deep secant wall are gradually exposed to prepare for more excavation needed to construct three additional floors of the temple facilities, Salt Lake City, June 2021.

In addition, large horizontal steel beams, called walers, are installed to further brace and strengthen the steel and concrete columns that form the secant wall. Post-tensioned cables run through the walers and add pressure against the secant wall. This helps resist the soil pressure that naturally increases with depth. The depth of the secant wall is approximately 80 feet (24 meters). Excavation will continue until it reaches the depth of the bottom of the new lower third floor of the additional facilities.

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Post-tensioned cables running through steel beams are exposed. They help resist soil pressure that increases with depth. The depth of the secant wall is approximately 80 feet or 24 meters, Salt Lake City, June 2021.

The tunnel underneath North Temple street that will connect the Conference Center parking to the new second floor of the temple is now complete up to the wall of the Conference Center parking garage. The tunnel wall is lined with concrete, and the floor is now a structural concrete slab. The tunnel will be excavated into the Conference Center parking lot in the coming months. Below is a view of the Salt Lake Temple from the tunnel underneath North Temple street.

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A view of the Salt Lake Temple from the tunnel underneath North Temple street that will eventually connect the Conference Center parking lot to the temple, Salt Lake City, June 2021.

On the Church Office Building plaza, the fountain is now entirely removed.

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A view of the Church Office Building Plaza after the removal of a large fountain, Salt Lake City, June 2021.
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A view of the Church Office Building Plaza after the removal of a large fountain, Salt Lake City, June 2021.

May 2021 Construction Update

Newsroom published the following construction update on May 6, 2021.

Crews have reached the end of a new 180-foot-long (55 meters) tunnel underneath North Temple street that will connect the Conference Center parking lot to the new underground temple entrance. The final work of removing the concrete wall that leads into the Conference Center parking structure will be done later.

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Video Companion
Temple Square Renovation Update: May 2021

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Workers recently began placing scaffolding on the west and north sides of the temple. The photo below is of the north wall. Scaffolding already covers the south side and will eventually surround the entire structure.

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Crews continue to remove rows of stones from the temple walls for repair and cleaning. Each stone is carefully labeled and will be returned to its original spot.

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To keep Salt Lake City clean, the renovation site has a truck washing bay. Before vehicles exit the temple renovation site onto South Temple street, wheels, axles, mud flaps, and other parts of each vehicle are thoroughly sprayed.

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The photo below shows the progress of the excavation on the north side of the temple. The tunnel (shown in the first two photos above) is on the far left. In the middle is the preparation for the tower crane. This crane will be in place after the crane concrete foundation is poured. Lagging surrounds the site to keep soil in place.

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This photo looks west at the renovation of the Church Office Building plaza. The Church Administration Building (left), the Joseph Smith Memorial Building (middle) and Church Office Building (right) are also shown. Crews are using conveyor belts to move soil and debris to a truck loading location. Trucks enter the site from North Temple and exit onto South Temple.

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Finally, below are several square-headed nails that crews have found in the temple. These show some of the workmanship and materials used to build the Salt Lake Temple, which was finished in 1893. The longest nails are six inches (15 centimeters) long and show few signs of corrosion.

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April 2021 Construction Update

Newsroom published the following construction update regarding work performed thus far in April 2021.

16 April 2021

As part of the Salt Lake Temple renovation project, a tunnel is being constructed underneath North Temple to connect the Conference Center parking lot to the underground facilities and entrance to the temple. The tunnel excavation is about 80 percent complete. These photos show the steel arches that are encased in shotcrete (a form of grout) to create the initial lining of the tunnel walls. The steel arches are spaced 4 feet (1.2 meters) apart. The drilling machine is used to remove the upper portion of soil, which is then hauled away by an excavator. This also removes the lower portion of the excavation as shown in the third photo below.

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The temple is now surrounded on three sides by a secant wall. The secant walls are installed as close to the bottom edge of the existing footings as possible to contain and brace them in place. The secant wall is built by drilling deep holes where alternating steel and concrete columns are installed. These overlap with each other to create the retaining wall.

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The copper roof sheathing of the temple has been completely removed and replaced with a temporary roof. This is in preparation for the installation of additional steel trusses, an important part of the seismic strengthening of the temple.

The upper stones of the temple walls are being gradually removed to prepare for the structural concrete bonding beams that will brace the walls. The stones that are removed will be reinstalled in their original positions.

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When workers need to access the higher levels of the towers, they use a variety of safety measures, such as mandatory harnesses, to prevent falls. Harnesses are tied to existing hooks anchored in stones.

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As stones are removed from the temple for repair and cleaning, workers ensure they are properly cataloged and labeled so they can be returned to their exact original placement. In this photo, workers help the tower crane operator guide the stone to placement for transportation and storage.

On the Church Office Building plaza, multiple conveyor belts help carry materials and debris for hauling off-site. The two fountains are being removed, along with walkways and planter boxes.

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March 2021 Construction Update

Newsroom published the following construction update regarding work performed in March 2021. 

26 March 2021

This week on the Salt Lake Temple renovation project:

The excavation to create a tunnel underneath North Temple is underway. This tunnel will connect the Conference Center parking lot to the underground temple entrance to create safer and easier access for visitors to the temple. Previously, canopy tubes were installed at the upper perimeter of the tunnel to provide a support frame before drilling and excavation began. The excavation is now about halfway complete.

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The worker and material lift continue to be assembled. Workers are now constructing scaffolding bridges that will connect the lift to the scaffolding, which will surround the entire temple. The lift will provide access to the various floors of the temple.

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The work to remove the current temple roof and provide a temporary cover is about halfway through.

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The Church Office Building Plaza has undergone a significant change. Most of the area surrounding the fountain has been excavated in preparation for significant restructuring and landscaping work.

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A construction road made of recycled asphalt has been completed through the Church Office Building Plaza area from North Temple to South Temple to accommodate the movement of construction equipment and large trucks.

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Aerial view of Salt Lake Temple Renovation, with focus on the area north of the temple. The square-shaped excavation on the right side of the picture is where the foundation for another tower crane will be placed.

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Update on Salt Lake Temple Renovation

In a press release published on March 12, 2021, the First Presidency provided an update on the Salt Lake Temple Renovation which included some changes to the project. The press release included details such as:

  • Two more instruction rooms, additional sealing ordinance rooms, and a second baptistry are being added to allow for greater capacity and more temple ordinances.
  • Previously, the member experience in this temple included a progressive room-to-room presentation by live actors. When the temple reopens, this will transition to single-room presentations by film, available in more than 80 languages (previously presented only in English). This decision will also make it possible to hold more sessions each day. And finally, we hope it will help more members feel confident to serve as ordinance workers without the requirement for lengthy memorization.
  • The area that previously housed the temple cafeteria will now accommodate additional temple facilities to support the increased capacity of the temple. There will not be a cafeteria included when the temple reopens.

Read the full press release and see new renderings


February 2021 Construction Update

Newsroompublished the following construction update regarding work performed in February 2021. 

19 February 2021

Many of the stones on the top of the temple walls are being carefully removed for cleaning, preservation and short-term storage. They are labeled so they can be returned to their original places.

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Work continues on the drilling underneath North Temple to provide for an underground entrance to the temple from the Conference Center parking structure.

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In this photo below, drilling on the temple side consists of installing canopy tubes to create a structure that will support further excavation.

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In this photo below, the parking structure is being shored up on the Conference Center side.

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As part of the seismic upgrade of the temple, the existing roof is also being upgraded. The roof will be gradually removed and have a temporary covering (similar to a heavy-duty tarp) until the new roof is completed.

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In this photo below, the south tower crane is lifting the temporary roof cover.

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The plaza work that was announced in January 2021 is now visibly underway. The area between the Church Administration Building and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building is being used as a road to help move materials in and out of the plaza as the renovation continues.

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5 February 2021

As part of the Salt Lake Temple renovation project, the grounds around the temple are also being renovated. In January, construction began on the Church Office Building plaza. Temporary fencing was first put in place, which has been followed by more permanent fencing.

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Crews continue to work on preparing for the construction of the tunnel that will run underneath North Temple from the Conference Center parking structure to the future underground entrance to the temple. This involves drilling canopy tubes that form shoring support.

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Near the southwest corner of the temple, shoring and excavation are complete for the installation of a worker/material lift. Due to the proximity to the foundation of the temple, the shoring ensures the lift excavation does not disturb the temple foundation. The lift will allow for easier access of workers and materials into the interior of the temple’s upper floors.

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The stones along the upper walls of the temple are all being removed. As they are lifted off with a crane and placed in the ground, they are labeled. These will be placed in storage, cleaned, and repaired, and will ultimately return to their original places.

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January 2021 Construction Update

Temple Square published the following construction update regarding work performed in January 2021.

22 January 2021

At the beginning of January 2021, the renovation of the Church Office Building plaza was announced and has begun.

Temporary fencing is in place to block off the areas that will be under construction for the next year and a half.

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The south side of the temple is now covered in scaffolding. This will help workers in the stone repair and cleaning process as well as improve access for materials into the temple.

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The deep excavation on the north side of the temple continues. The efforts right now will prepare for the placement of a second crane on the Temple Square construction site.

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Find 2020 construction updates on the following page.


December 2020 Construction Updates

Temple Square published the following construction updates regarding work performed in December 2020.

22 December 2020

At the end of December in 2019, the Salt Lake Temple was closed to begin a major renewal project including seismic renovation. Over the past year, the following major work has been done or is in process:

  • Dismantlement of the South Visitors’ Center
  • Removal of the tower finials, the capstone, and the angel Moroni statue
  • Dismantlement of the north chapel and annex buildings to the temple
  • Dismantlement of the addition on the north side of the temple
  • Shoring on all sides of the temple to secure the ground for deep excavation work
  • Consolidation of the original stone foundation footings on the interior and exterior of the temple

Check out an aerial view photo taken in February 2020 compared to a photo taken just recently in December 2020 to see how things have changed.
Below: Salt Lake Temple February 2020

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Below: Salt Lake Temple December 2020

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9 December 2020

We are nearing the end of the first year of the Salt Lake Temple renovation project.

This week’s updates:

  • On the west side of the temple, the previous foundation had a concrete overlay. That is being removed to prepare for the future foundation consolidation and strengthening work.
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  • The west side of the temple is nearly ready to begin shoring—a process that will be done around the entire temple.
  • Additional scaffolding has been installed on the south side of the temple. Eventually the entire temple will be surrounded with scaffolding.
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  • The southeast corner of the temple has been excavated, and debris has been almost entirely removed. Much of it will be recycled.
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November 2020 Construction Updates

Temple Square published the following construction updates regarding work performed in November 2020.

24 November 2020

Check out this week's update of the work on Temple Square as part of the Salt Lake Temple renovation project.

Steel shoring beams have been placed in the Conference Center garage to prepare for work on the tunnel that will connect the Conference Center garage to the main entrance of the temple.

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The southeast historic steps leading to the historic doors of the temple have been shored up.

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The west side of the temple has a new roadway for truck access.

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Scaffolding is being installed on the south elevation of the temple. Scaffolding will eventually surround all the exterior walls and towers of the temple to repair the stones and provide access to the different floors of the temple.

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Excavation work continues on the north side of the site in preparation for the construction of new temple facilities.

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6 November 2020

This week’s Salt Lake Temple construction update showcases some of the following work:

The tension rod coring continues to help strengthen the foundations of the temple—both inside and out. This process involves drilling in the existing footings of the foundation system at different angles and inserting a threaded rod in grout. The rod is then tensioned to create pressure against the stones, thus helping consolidate the footings.

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The foundation that was added on in the 1960s to build the sealing wing addition and strengthen the west foundations is being dismantled in preparation for future drilling work.

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On the north side of the temple, work continues on the shoring wall close to North Temple Street as well as on building the secant walls. These 83-foot long (25-meter) steel columns will be inserted into the ground as part of the building of the secant wall (a retaining wall). The secant wall on the north side of the temple will extend around the temple on the east side. Each column weighs 20,000 pounds or 9,000 kilograms. This will prepare for an excavation that will be 60 feet deep (18 meters).

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October 2020 Construction Updates

Temple Square published the following construction updates regarding work performed in October 2020.

October 23, 2020

As we finish out the 10th month of the Salt Lake Temple construction project, work continues to strengthen the foundation system of the historic temple.

On the south side of the temple, a new tower crane has been installed and is functioning. It is 250 feet tall and will initially be used to assist in assembling the scaffolding for stone repair work and roof replacement.

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On the north side of the temple, the deep excavation continues as well as shoring, lagging, and debris removal, sorted for recycling purposes. After excavation concludes on the north side of the temple, another tower crane will be installed.

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Drilling is moving forward to create the secant wall on the north side of the temple. A secant wall is a type of retaining wall that is made of reinforced piles of concrete that interlock with steel columns. The purpose of the secant wall is to contain the existing foundations and soil under the foundations. The entire foundation system of the temple will be surrounded by a series of secant walls.

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Dismantlement work continues on the west side of the temple where the excavation will lead right up to the edge of the Salt Lake Tabernacle.

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October 9, 2020

This week on Temple Square, workers prepared and completed a large concrete pour that will stabilize a crane on the south side of the Salt Lake Temple. This crane will be able to reach higher than the highest tower of the temple.

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On the north side, work continues forward to remove debris and prepare for a smaller crane to be placed.

Work also continues on strengthening the foundation.

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September 2020 Construction Updates

Temple Square published the following construction updates regarding work performed in September 2020.

September 29, 2020

We are approaching the end of the ninth month of construction on the Salt Lake Temple renovation project.

The process this month continues with additional shoring around the temple as well as removing debris, which has been separated out for recycling.

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North of the temple, workers continue to dig and remove soil for the shoring walls.

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On the south side of the temple, the footing for a large crane is being prepared. This crane is a general tower crane that will be used for reaching each of the towers of the temple.

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The shoring for the tower crane footing is also being strengthened with beams.

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Take a look at the current aerial view showing the south, east, and north sides of the temple.

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The last image shows a current view of the north and west sides of the temple.

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September 15, 2020

The end of August and beginning of September show a continuation of work on the shoring, drilling, and debris cleanup on the Salt Lake Temple renovation project. Development of the secant wall on the south side of the temple also continues.

This week, due to a storm in the area, work on the renovation project was paused for a time for the safety of the workers. The storm caused damage to many of the trees and some of the fencing on Temple Square. Many of our female missionaries who serve those visiting Temple Square volunteered their time alongside the garden staff to help with the cleanup of debris.

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A Look at the First 9 Months of Renovation

Newsroom released a video looking back on the first nine months of renovation. You can watch the video below or read the full press release here.

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Video Companion
Salt Lake Temple Renovation: September 2020 Update


August 2020 Construction Updates

Temple Square published the following construction updates regarding work performed in August 2020.

September 1, 2020

Check out the progress from the last two weeks on the Salt Lake Temple renovation, with much of the work ongoing from previous updates.

On the north and east sides of the temple, the work will continue through the end of the year to strengthen and consolidate the foundation walls and footings.

East side of the temple

North side of the temple

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Along North Temple Street, vertical shoring piles were previously installed. The lagging—which is made of large boards that fill the gap between the vertical columns—will continue being built up over the next few weeks in preparation for the extensive excavation work needed to accommodate lower floors of temple facilities.

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The secant wall is just being formed along the south temple foundations. A secant wall is a type of retaining wall that is made of reinforced piles of concrete that interlock. The purpose of the secant wall is to contain the foundations and soil under the foundations. The entire foundation system of the temple will be surrounded by secant walls. 

Take a look at the current south side of the temple with the large drilling rig used for the secant wall. 

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Demolition debris has been significantly reduced as crews worked to remove and recycle as much of the debris as possible on the north side of the temple.  

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View a time-lapse video of the Temple Square construction from June to August 2020. (For optimal viewing, click the fullscreen button on the far right of the video player). 

August 14, 2020

We are now eight months into the Salt Lake Temple construction project.

As the project progresses, all foundation walls and footings of the Salt Lake Temple will be exposed and viewable. The east side is very prominent in this photo.

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Exposing the foundations is part of the foundation strengthening effort, which is currently happening on the north side of the temple. The process involves drilling a 3-inch hole into the foundation footings at different angles, to depths of 8–14 feet on the north and south walls and 10–35 feet on the east and west walls (as the tower foundations are larger).

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The hole is then filled with high-strength grout. This grout fills the drilled hole as well as pushes further into voids and joints in the existing foundation to consolidate the foundations. If you take a look at the north and south side foundations, note the inverted arches and the different types and sizes of stonework used.

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On the north side of the temple, vertical shoring columns were previously installed. The lagging—which is made of large boards that fill the gap between the vertical columns—is being installed over the next few weeks to keep soil in place during excavation work.

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On the north side of the temple where the sealing wing (used for marriages) and annex buildings were previously, workers are removing the large amount of debris—with recycling in mind. The materials are first sorted and then hauled away to recycle as many materials as possible.

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In the interior of the temple, the foundation footings are also being exposed to the full depth of the foundation and will be strengthened by core drilling from the inside as well.


July 2020 Construction Updates

Temple Square published the following construction updates in July 2020. 

July 29, 2020

Have you seen the work on Temple Square through the end of July?

  • The original tower foundations on the west side of the Salt Lake Temple will soon be visible. The soil, debris, and structures on that west side elevation will be dismantled and removed so crews can begin the work of strengthening the tower foundations.
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  • On the north side of the temple, the sealing wing (used for marriages) and the north annex were previously removed. The debris from this dismantlement work will continue to be removed over the next few weeks. Now that the sealing wing is removed, the foundation on the north side of the temple is exposed for further seismic upgrade work.
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  • Inside the temple, the foundations are being uncovered as well. This is in preparation to further strengthen the foundation as part of the ongoing overall seismic upgrade.
  • Have you thought about how many workers are helping this project move forward? On July 22 all project workers with Jacobsen Construction enjoyed a celebration to honor Pioneer Day and the legacy of the early pioneers and temple workers.
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July 17, 2020

The past two weeks show considerable work on dismantling buildings on the north side of the Salt Lake Temple.

  • The north annex chapel was previously dismantled. The office and other ancillary facilities such as the cafeteria are being dismantled. Workers continue to separate (or sort) and remove debris from the construction site for recycling purposes.
  • The north side sealing wing (used for marriages) was recently separated from the historic temple walls. It was then dismantled, which now exposes the historic north side of the Salt Lake Temple. Debris from the sealing wing continues to be removed. The sealing wing will be rebuilt once the temple foundation is strengthened.
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  • Soldier piles (steel columns), which will be part of the retaining wall shoring, are now being installed on the west side of the temple construction site.
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July 2, 2020

The past few weeks show significant changes on the Salt Lake Temple project site:

  • Soldier piles (steel columns), which will be part of the retaining wall shoring, were recently installed on the north side of the construction site. The work of putting in soldier piles will now continue along the west boundary of the site and at other locations in the future. 
  • The north annex of the temple is being dismantled. This includes the temple chapel as well as the office and main entrance areas. This work is scheduled to be completed by the end of July.
  • The sealing wing (used for marriages) that was attached to the north side of the temple is now separated from the historic temple walls in preparation for dismantlement. Crews are working to protect the existing walls of the historic temple. The sealing wing will be rebuilt once the temple foundation is strengthened.
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  • In March, several finial stones on the towers were affected by a seismic event. The work of removing these stones is now complete. The large mobile crane used to remove them as well as the statue of the angel Moroni is no longer on-site. It will eventually be replaced by two tower cranes located on the south and north sides of the temple.
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Time-lapse Video Shows May and June Renovation Progress

A video on the Temple Square Facebook page shows a time-lapse of progress on the renovation project filmed from the Conference Center. The video, released July 13, 2020, shows significant work on shoring as well as the dismantlement of the north annex, according to the video description. 


Deseret News Provides a Look at the First 6 Months of Renovation

Deseret News reported on some of the changes that have taken place during the first six months, which includes uncovering the foundation, demolishing and dismantling annexes, and removing ornate finials. Read the full article released on July 8, 2020, at Deseret News


 June 2020 Construction Updates

Temple Square published the following construction updates in June 2020.

June 18, 2020

Significant work is moving forward on the north side of the temple. These are the latest construction activities:

  • On the north side of the temple, the process of removing the sealing wing annex has begun. The sealing wing roofing structure is currently being removed, and the interior of the sealing wing is being disconnected from the historic side of the templeThe sealing wing will be rebuilt.
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  • The underground facilities north of the temple, such as the locker rooms and cafeteria, are being dismantled to prepare for excavation work.
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  • To prepare for the deep excavation on the north side of the temple, shoring work continues along North Temple Street.
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  • The strengthening of the south temple foundation continues to move forward. 
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June 5, 2020

The Salt Lake Temple has now been closed for five months in preparation for its structural and seismic upgrade.

The following are the latest activities in the renovation project:

  • The removal of the upper finials (the highest point of the towers) continues. Each removed finial is carefully inventoried before being crated and stored. All finials will be reinstalled in their original positions. The towers now have additional scaffolding to complete this work.
  • On the west side of the temple, the sidewalks and planter walls are being removed. This work is to prepare for future excavation of the area.
  • On the north side of the temple, preparation is underway for shoring. This will prepare the site for excavation that will expose the north historic foundation. It will also prepare for a deep excavation for the new main temple entrance and other facilities belowground.
  • The original temple windows continue to be removed on all floors.
  • HVAC units have been added throughout the temple specifically for this project to control the air temperature and humidity as well as to protect existing woodwork and finishes.      
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New Video Shows Angel Moroni Statue Removal and Temple Foundation Strengthening

Church Newsroom released a video on May 18, 2020, showing the removal of the angel Moroni statue and capstone and explaining how workers are strengthening the temple foundation. The video and accompanying press release are below. 

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Video Companion
Renovation Update: Earthquake Assessment and Seismic Upgrade

In the latest stage of the renovation of the Salt Lake Temple, the angel Moroni statue and circular capstone beneath its feet were removed from the temple’s central east spire. These historic items were carried Monday morning through the air to the ground via crane for preservation and refurbishing. This will prepare both items for a later reinstallation.

“The Salt Lake Temple is the house of the Lord, and it is being shored up and strengthened to be able to stand for generations to come,” said Andy Kirby, director of historic temple renovations. “Each aspect of this project plays an important role in helping this sacred structure to remain a symbol of permanence, optimism, and faith for people around the world.”

The removal of the statue and capstone had long been planned as part of the temple’s years-long structural and seismic renovation. The timeline for this portion of the project was sped up following a 5.7 magnitude earthquake in March 2020 that shook the trumpet out of Moroni’s right hand and caused other minor damage.

While no crew members were injured during the quake, Paul Lawrence of Jacobsen Construction said the trembling earth was a reminder of the importance of a seismic upgrade.

“The earthquake loosened some of those pieces [on top of the temple],” said Lawrence, the renovation’s seismic project manager. “And in order to make the surrounding area safe, we’ve simply had to move those activities forward and take them off now instead of later. The recent event that we had simply reinforces the vision and direction that we’ve been given to strengthen the temple.”

The renovation of the historic building will include the installment of a base isolation system to help the building withstand a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. Lawrence said this system connects the base with the temple roof through secure rods and cables in the towers to protect the building from further damage.

“We create a safe zone around the perimeter of the building where that building can move,” Lawrence said. “It allows the building to move with the earthquake up to four or five feet in any one direction.”

Before the base isolation system can be installed, workers are drilling to strengthen the stone foundation of this structure first completed in 1893. Crews are pumping grout into the foundation’s gaps—a process that increases its solidity and strength as well as the appreciation of Lawrence and his team for the fine work of those 19th-century pioneer builders.

“I feel a reverence for the craftsmen and individuals that have gone before us and built this wonderful structure,” said Lawrence, who plans to retire when this temple renovation is complete. “To be a part of what they did so many years ago and everything that they had to sacrifice—that hit me when we uncovered the original foundations and saw the markings and the evidence of the work they did.”


Angel Moroni Statue and Capstone Removed from Salt Lake Temple

Daniel Woodruff, spokesperson for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, released the following statement to the media on May 18, 2020:

This morning, crews on Temple Square are working to remove the angel Moroni statue and capstone which stand atop the Salt Lake Temple. This has long been planned as part of the temple renovation, but the timeline to do so was accelerated following the earthquake in March. The statue and capstone will be preserved and refurbished before being reinstalled at a later date. Work also continues to remove stones from the upper spires of the temple for preservation during the project. Those stones will be reinstalled in the future.

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At A Glance (Updated)

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The angel Moroni is being removed as part of the ongoing renovation of the Salt Lake Temple, May 18, 2020. © 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Workers prepare to remove the angel Moroni atop the Salt Lake Temple, May 18, 2020. © 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

The angel Moroni and capstone being removed by a large crane as part of the ongoing renovation of the Salt Lake Temple, May 18, 2020. © 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The angel Moroni and capstone being removed by a large crane with artisan journeyman viewing in the background as part of the ongoing renovation of the Salt Lake Temple, May 18, 2020.  © 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

The angel Moroni and capstone being removed by a large crane with artisan journeyman viewing in the background as part of the ongoing renovation of the Salt Lake Temple, May 18, 2020.  © 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Construction workers gently remove the angel Moroni and capstone with a large crane as part of the ongoing renovation of the Salt Lake Temple, May 18, 2020. © 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The angel Moroni and capstone being removed by a large crane as part of the ongoing renovation of the Salt Lake Temple, May 18, 2020. © 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

The angel Moroni and capstone touch down on the ground, a part of the ongoing renovation of the Salt Lake Temple, May 18, 2020. © 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Workers removed the Angel Moroni and capstone as part of the ongoing renovation of the Salt Lake Temple, May 18, 2020. © 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

May 2020 Construction Updates

Temple Square published the following construction updates in May 2020.

May 15, 2020

The following video shows progress of the renovation from the south of the temple over the past month. Time-lapse videos will continue to be released regularly throughout the duration of the project.

May 11, 2020

Main construction activities over the past two weeks include:

  • Strengthening original foundations on the south side of the temple. This work is accomplished by drilling into the foundations at different angles to create a core through the stones, which is then filled with high-strength grout. The grout not only fills the drilled core but also fills voids and joints of the existing foundation.
  • Continuing asbestos abatement (removal) work in the additional buildings north of the temple in preparation for the dismantlement of all exiting facilities at that location, including offices, the chapel, the main lobby, and other structures.
  • Continuing removal of tower finials. Each removed finial is carefully inventoried before being crated and stored. All finials will be reinstalled in their original position.
  • Installing scaffolding around the towers to allow for the removal of additional stone and decorative elements in preparation for additional seismic retrofit work.
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April 2020 Construction Updates

Temple Square published the following construction updates in April 2020.

April 24, 2020

Workers continue to make progress on the removal of stone finials, clearing the north side of the site and exposing foundations on the south side of the temple. Efforts from the past week include:

  • Continuing to clear the temple grounds of landscaping and sidewalks in preparation for dismantlement of temple annex facilities.
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     Ongoing removal of the upper tower finials. As finials are removed, each is carefully labeled and inventoried for reinstallation. All 12 upper finials on the west towers have been removed. Upper finials on the east towers are also being removed. The image on the left highlights a finial being removed.
  • Preparing for drilling the first several sections of existing foundation stones on the south side of the temple. This work will strengthen the existing foundation in preparation for base isolator installation in future phases of construction. The image below shows a portion of the exposed historic foundation.
  • Retiring and removing the flags and flag pole located west of the temple.
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April 15, 2020

  • Work is underway to remove the upper tower finials. This work was planned for a later phase of the project but was brought forward following the seismic event of March 18. A large crane was installed on-site on April 2 to complete this work. Learn more about the process of removing the finials here
  • Abatement work to remove lead and asbestos from the existing temple annex on the north side continues.
  • Backfill of the excavated South Visitors’ Center continues.
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Time-Lapse Video of First Three Months of Salt Lake Temple Renovation Project 

Progress on the Salt Lake Temple renovation project continues. Watch a time-lapse video captured during the first three months of construction released by Church Newsroom on April 16, 2020. 

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Video Companion
Salt Lake City Temple Construction Time-Lapse Video


Stone Removal Set to Begin at Salt Lake Temple After Earthquake

Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff released the following statement to media April 2, 2020 regarding the next phase of work on the Salt Lake Temple renovation:

“Workers at the Salt Lake Temple project site are installing a crane on the temple's south side to begin removal of some of the stones on the temple spires that were displaced during the recent earthquake in Salt Lake City. Workers will then remove additional stones from the east and west sides of the temple for preservation during the project. They will also temporarily remove the angel Moroni statue. Scaffolding will be constructed around the temple spires for better access for workers. This work is expected to last several weeks.”

► Related content: Angel Moroni’s Trumpet Falls in Salt Lake Earthquake

Please see the accompanying renderings for an idea of what this phase of work will look like. 

An artist's rendering depicts a crane placed on the south side of the Salt Lake Temple on Thursday, April 2, 2020, to begin to remove stones displaced in last month's earthquake as part of the temple renovation. 
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An artist's rendering of a crane removing stones from the Salt Lake Temple that were displaced during an earthquake in March 2020.

An artist's rendering of a crane removing stones from the Salt Lake Temple that were displaced during an earthquake in March 2020.

An artist's rendering of a crane removing stones from the Salt Lake Temple.

► Related content: 10 Things You May Not Know about the Angel Moroni Statue


March 2020 Construction Updates

Temple Square published the following construction updates in March 2020.

March 27, 2020

Following a seismic event on March 18, the Salt Lake Temple and site were thoroughly inspected and work has resumed as normal. Over the past several weeks, construction crews have:

  • Made progress on abatement work inside the temple.
  • Removed the final set of historic temple doors for preservation.
  • Continued installing HVAC units in the upper floor of the temple.
  • Continued removal work of stone facing on the temple chapel on the north end of the grounds.
  • Begun installing a project fence with viewing windows on the east side of the job site, near the reflection pool on the Main Street Plaza.
  • Begun working to backfill and compact the ground where the South Visitors’ Center was removed.
  • Begun demolition of a pedestrian tunnel at the south end of the temple, exposing the existing temple foundation.
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March 6, 2020                                              

This week, Jacobsen and the construction team primarily worked on the area south of the temple and within the temple. Specific accomplishments from this week and plans for next week are as follows:

  • Debris from the South Visitors’ Center was removed from the site to be recycled and repurposed.
  • Construction began on a utility bridge on the west side of the temple. It will supply temporary power and water to the temple during the renovation.
  • Lead paint and asbestos abatement have been successfully completed in several areas of the interior of the temple. This work continues in other areas of the temple.
  • A project fence has been installed on the west side of the site. It includes windows to allow visitors on Temple Square to view the construction activities from various points. These same features will be present on the fence on the east side of the site when it is in place in the coming weeks.
  • The first devotional for the construction workers was held on March 4. Emily Utt, Church historic sites curator, was the featured speaker and discussed “a sense of the sacred.” The following is an excerpt from her remarks:
“High on the east tower of the Salt Lake Temple are carved the words ‘Holiness to the Lord.’ That phrase is a reminder to everyone who walks past that it is a holy building. A sacred building. The temple isn’t a common public building. It was built for a higher purpose. “Holiness to the Lord is also a testimony from those who built the temple. Their work wasn’t just about building a wall or digging a trench. The temple was a statement about their belief in God. It was a statement about how they could give their very best to Him. The temple was the place where they would make sacred promises, called covenants, with God. It was the place they would create relationships that would last forever. Even if they didn’t live to see it completed, the temple would be a place of holiness for their children and the generations after. “That same attitude can direct our work on the temple. Every day we walk under the sign stating that this building is holy. Keeping a sense of the sacred is giving our very best to the project. It is taking the time to do the job right even if no one sees it. It is asking for God’s help as we work. If we approach our problems with a sense of the sacred, we will be guided to the right solutions. Even though this is a messy and noisy construction site, we can keep this a holy place. Your daily efforts to keep a sense of the sacred will keep this temple holy until it is rededicated.” —Emily Utt (construction team devotional, Mar. 4, 2020)
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February 2020 Construction Updates

Temple Square published the following construction updates in February 2020.

February 28, 2020

Construction teams have made significant progress over the past two months. Trees, shrubs, and statues surrounding the Salt Lake Temple have been removed from the site. The South Visitors’ Center has also been removed along with portions of the historic Temple Square wall.

Accomplishments from this week include:

  • Temporary scaffolding installed on the south side of the temple to place mechanical equipment and remove several windows on the fifth floor.
  • Windows on the first and fifth floors removed, packed, and transported to be refurbished.
  • Historic exterior doors removed through a carefully planned process. Temporary doors are in place until the historic doors return following restoration.
  • Temporary utilities installed to supply utilities to the site.
  • Excavation underway to remove a tunnel south of the temple to allow excavation work to begin, which will expose the existing foundations of the temple.

Pictures Show Temple Furnishings Removal

On January 17, 2020, Church Newsroom released photos that show the progress of furniture removal inside the temple. 

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The Salt Lake Temple Celestial Room

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The Salt Lake Temple Chapel

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The Salt Lake Temple Assembly Room

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The Salt Lake Temple Assembly Room

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The Salt Lake Temple Assembly Room

The Salt Lake Temple Assembly Room


Demolition Begins on South Visitors' Center, Statues Removed

On January 17, 2020, demolition began on the South Visitors’ Center.

The demolition of the Temple Square South Visitors’ Center began today. This will allow construction crews to excavate around the Salt Lake Temple for the temple’s four-year-long renovation. Stay tuned for more information. pic.twitter.com/IFI5hc0S9o — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (@ChurchNewsroom) January 17, 2020

Statues south of the temple, including statues of Hyrum and Joseph Smith—each of which weighs approximately 18,000 pounds—were removed and put into storage.

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Trees and vegetation were also removed from the site.

“We are working to carefully preserve some of the trees, transplant them and then replant them at the end of the project,” Andy Kirby, director of historic temple renovations, told Church Newsroom. “We will also plant additional trees when we finish the renovation, so there will be more trees on Temple Square than there were when this project began.”

Special care is being made to preserve the Cedar of Lebanon tree, which was planted more than 70 years ago.

Excavation around the Salt Lake Temple to install the base isolation system will begin soon.


Decommissioning the Temple

Church Newsroom released a story on January 7, 2020, that explained the Salt Lake Temple was undergoing decommissioning. The process involves removing items from the temple, including temple clothing, furniture, temple records, and other items used in the completion of temple ordinances. Additionally, preparations were made for construction with temporary power and utilities and asbestos abatement.

Images from Intellectual Reserve, Inc. 
Lead image: YouTube screenshot
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