ST. GEORGE (ABC4 News) – Tuesday marks exactly three months since the St. George Temple, the longest-operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, closed for a major renovation — inside and out — for necessary safety and energy-efficient upgrades.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints closed the 142-year-old temple in November of 2019 for renovations to make it safer and more functional while preserving as much of the original craftsmanship as possible, according to a news release. Project managers announced the first phase of the construction, removing all of the 20th-century additions to the building, is well underway.
“One of the aspects of this project is preserving the original building as it stands right now,” said Eric Jamison, project manager. “The structure of the building is in fantastic condition given its age. Despite its age, the temple has endured very well.”
Some system upgrades will be made to the temple, including mechanical, electrical and plumbing work, according to church representatives.
“The first phase of this project really has been removing all the 20th-century additions to this building,” said Emily Utt, historic site curator for the Church. “So, for the first time in 100 years, we’re able to see where the original door openings were in this building, what the floor plan was, what the paint colors were.”
Construction crews have removed the 1970’s era north entrance and west addition that will more closely match the original architecture of the historic temple once rebuilt. On the west side of the building, contractors unveiled an exterior window hidden from view for more than 40 years.
“It’s a really exciting process to see the work and craftsmanship that these people had back then,” said Jamison.
Salvaging removed materials for recycling, piles from cement to steel are sorted and loaded, hauled away to recycling plants where almost everything will be re-purposed, church officials said.
The completion date for the entire renovation is anticipated in 2022. Following a public open house, the temple will be rededicated.
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