SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – An iconic part of Temple Square will be torn down later this year as renovations continue.
The North Visitors’ Center on Temple Square will be demolished and replaced with open gardens and space for contemplation by 2023, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Thursday.
“This area will become a peaceful, quiet space on Temple Square,” says Andy Kirby, director of historic temple renovations for the Church. “The plans for this area will also provide a more direct and clear view of the Salt Lake Temple from the northwest area of Temple Square, enhancing the prominence of the temple.”
The Church says restrooms will be added to support events in the Tabernacle and Assembly Hall.
The North Visitors’ Center has welcomed visitors to Temple Square since 1963. According to the Church, the 11-foot replica of Bertel Thorsvaldsen’s ‘Christus’ will be removed from the facility this summer for preservation before being reinstalled on Temple Square at the end of the renovation process.
“The North Visitors’ Center has already begun the process of decommissioning,” Kirby says. “This means that all art, exhibits, and materials will be removed from the building in preparation for the work. After that process, crews will begin evaluation for abatement of any hazardous materials.”
In May, crews working on the renovations found several square-headed nails used to originally construct the temple have been found, and they hardly show their age. For more on the renovation process, click here.
Earlier this week, the Church announced Temple Square will soon begin a phased reopening process.