Editor’s note: This story is a part of a series highlighting Latter-day Saints for General Conference week.
SALT LAKE CITY — Temple Square already looks vastly different than it did nine months ago when crews began the massive Salt Lake Temple renovation project.
Gone are the majority of temple add-ons constructed in the 1960s, such as the north side entrance, chapel and sealing room addition, and nearly all objects that were located in the space north and south of the temple. Other buildings, such as the South Visitors’ Center, were demolished in January.
There’s also a large pit surrounding the historic structure after crews created a retaining wall around it as they work to strengthen the temple’s foundation.
“The next stage is probably the hardest, where we work on strengthening the foundation by adding to the foundation,” said Andy Kirby, director of historic temple renovations for The Church of Jesus
The temple, which had been closed for devotees since March 2017, will be opened this year-end, said Muzarai department officials.
The works were taken up following public outcry after the temple appeared to be crumbling. Officials said over 90 per cent works have been completed. The department of archaeology and museums, which took up the work at a cost of Rs 2.4 crore, replaced pillars, repaired the sanctum sanctorum and changed the flooring. It is also renovating a guest house.
The department of tourism, public works and other departments have contributed funds for different phases of the works.
The temple was renovated under the guidance of temple architects from Tamil Nadu. Damaged stones, pillars and beams have been replaced. Three