Renovations and Expansions
Updated: 6 days ago
Logan Utah Temple
A 2017 Deseret News article titled LDS Church not just temple-building, but temple-renovating said:
With more than 150 temples worldwide, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been described as a temple-building church. And with the operations of those temples spanning 140 years, it also has become a temple-renovating church.
Of the LDS Church’s 20 oldest operating temples, 15 have had, are having or will have at least one series of extensive and lengthy renovations with a subsequent dedication or rededication. Take the 30 oldest operating temples, and that number increases to 23. Six temples have been rededicated not once but twice.
As of today of the 30 oldest temples, all have been, are being or will be renovated except Seattle and Manilla, which have no current renovation planned:
St. George, Manti and Salt Lake are under renovation.
Provo, is scheduled to be renovated.
Seven of these are second renovations. Besides these the Church has renovated and rededicated 17 other temples, one of them twice.
The following is a list of most of the major renovations the Church has made to its temples, not all of which were followed by a rededication:
Laie Hawaii Temple
As mentioned in an earlier post, the Church renovated most of the early temples to present the endowment on video instead of live and usually changed them from four stage progression to single room (see my earlier post on Progression). They updated the décor, often expanded them and made other improvements at the same time:
The St. George Utah Temple was originally 56,000 sq. ft. (5.203 m2). Like the Kirtland and original Nauvoo temples, it had two assembly rooms and no instruction rooms (see my previous post on Assembly Rooms). The Church originally used curtains and wall partitions to separate the lower assembly room into instruction rooms. In 1937 the Church permanently divided that assembly room into progressive instruction rooms with murals without rededicating the temple (History of the St. George Temple: Pg. 78-79). In the 1970's, the Church renovated the temple for the stationary video presentation of the endowment and expanded the temple to 110,000 sq. ft. (10.219 m2). They rededicated it in 1975 (Arizona and St. George Temples Close As Part of Renovation Project). The Church is currently renovating it again (St. George Temple Closing and 3D Temples: St. George Utah Temple).
The Logan Utah Temple was originally 59,130 sq. ft. (5.493 m2) as mentioned in my last post, the Church gutted it, rebuilt the interior for the stationary video presentation of the endowment and expanded it to 119,619 sq. ft. (11.113 m2) then rededicated it in 1979 (135 years ago, the Logan Utah Temple was dedicated. Here are some fun facts you might not know about it and 3D Temples: Logan Utah Temple).
There is disagreement as to the square footage of the Manti Utah Temple with some sources giving it as 74,792 sq. ft. (6,948 m2) and others as 100,373 sq. ft. (9,325 m2) I believe that the first is the original and the second is after the Church renovated it in 1985. For Manti they kept the endowment live with progression, meaning only Manti and Salt Lake continued to use live actors (Fifth LDS temple highlights Manti Temple Hill). They are currently renovating it again and will eliminate live actors but keep progression (Church leaders have modified plans for the renovation of the Manti Utah Temple to preserve its pioneer craftsmanship, artwork and character).
The Salt Lake Temple’s original square footage is not recorded but the Church has expanded it many times over the years, especially in the 1960's and it is now 253,015 sq. ft. (23.506 m2) (Background on the Salt Lake Temple). Salt Lake is the oldest temple the Church has not rededicated. The Church is currently renovating it again and will rededicate it afterwards (Plans Unveiled for Salt Lake Temple Renovation).
The Laie Hawaii Temple was originally 10,500 sq. ft. (975 m2) the Church renovated it for the stationary video presentation of the endowment and expanded it to 42,100 sq. ft. (3.911 m2) then rededicated it in 1978. They renovated it again, restoring progression and rededicated it in 2010 (The Laie Hawaii Temple: A History from Its Conception to Completion: pg. 76, footnote 7).
The Cardston Alberta Temple was originally 29,431 sq. ft. (2.734 m2) the Church renovated it for the video presentation of the endowment but kept progression and expanded it to 65,000 sq. ft. (6.039 m2) then rededicated it in 1962. They renovated and expanded it again to 88,562 sq. ft. (8.228 m2) and rededicated it in 1991 (The First Modern Temple and Cardston Alberta Temple).
The Mesa Arizona Temple was originally 26,657 sq. ft. (2.477 m2) the Church renovated it for the stationary video presentation of the endowment, added a new instruction room and expanded it to 113,916 sq. ft. (10.583 m2) and rededicated it in 1975 (SAH Archipedia: Mesa Arizona Temple and Journal of Mormon History, Vol. 31, No. 1 The Historic Arizona Temple). They are renovated it again, restored the original instruction rooms and their murals, brought back progression and dedicated it for a third time in 2021 (Major Renovation Planned for Mesa Arizona Temple).
The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple was originally about 70,000 sq. ft. (6.503 m2) the Church renovated it for the video presentation of the endowment but kept progression and expanded it to 92,177 sq. ft. (8.564 m2) in 1972 without rededicating it (3D Temples: Idaho Falls Idaho Temple). They renovated it again, updated the building, restored its murals and rededicated it in 2017 (GSL Electric: Idaho Falls Idaho Temple Renovation).
The Church closed the Los Angeles California Temple for 10 weeks in 1981 and renovated it for the stationary video presentation of the endowment. Some sources mention splitting an Instruction room into two rooms and removing its mural (see for example 3D Temples: Los Angeles California and Mormonwiki: Los Angeles California Temple) but it was the Terrestrial Room, which has no murals, that they divided into an Instruction room and a Veil room (A Beacon on a Hill: The Los Angeles Temple). In 2003, the Church renovated the Terrestrial Room back into a single room and restored progression (A Beacon on a Hill: The Los Angeles Temple). They closed it again from November 2005 to July 2006 for seismic upgrades, baptistery improvements and other renovations. It was not rededicated after any of these renovations (Deseret News: LDS Church not just temple-building, but temple-renovating). When the Church finishes renovating and rededicates the Salt Lake Temple, Los Angeles California will be the oldest temple the Church has not rededicated.
London England Temple
The first temples designed to present the endowment on video had one or two Instruction rooms, which limited their flexibility. The Church has renovated all of them:
When the Church renovated the Bern Switzerland and London England temples they divided the original single Instruction Room into four smaller rooms, inserted a fourth floor with additional sealing rooms and for London changed the main entrance to the north side. They rededicated them both in 1992 (A Tale of Two Temples, Getty Images: Mormon Temple Visitors).
When the Church renovated the Oakland California Temple in 1988 they built a new visitors’ center to replace the original in the west wing of the temple, which expanded the temple from 82,500 sq. ft. (7.665 m2) to 95,000 sq. ft. (8.826 m2) (Deseret News: 'Visible as a beacon': Oakland Temple celebrates 50th year of service). They converted the vacated area into two waiting rooms, moved the recorder’s office and added a second chapel. They also relocated two sealing rooms from the second floor to the third floor, and turned the second-floor sealing rooms into small Instruction rooms. All without rededicating the temple (The Oakland Temple: Portal to Eternity chapter - The Temple in Operation). In 2019 they completed another renovation that upgraded the mechanical systems, restored trim, furnishings and fixtures and brought back a waterfall feature over the front entrance, then rededicated it on 16 June 2019 (Oakland California Temple Opens Doors to the Public After Renovation).
When the Church renovated the Hamilton New Zealand Temple they made significant structural upgrades to meet national seismic standards, restored the historic murals in the celestial room and added oak millwork created by craftspeople in Hamilton and decorative painting derived from local Māori patterns. They also reconfigured the interior layout for better flow and efficiency, which increased the square footage from 42,304 sq. ft. (3,930 m2) (Hamilton New Zealand Temple) to 45,251 sq. ft. (4,204 m2) (Church News: See images of the recently renovated Hamilton New Zealand Temple). They will rededicate the temple in October 2022 (Public Invited to Tour Renovated Hamilton Temple).
Ogden Utah Temple
As mentioned in my post on buildings, while keeping the core building the same, the Church reshaped the exterior of the Ogden Utah Temple with new stone and art glass. They also reduced the size of the third and fourth floors to eliminate the cantilevered aspect of the temple’s original architecture, thus decreasing the temple’s size from 131,000 sq. ft. (12.170 m2) to 112,232 sq. ft. (10427 m2) They rededicated it in 2014 (Ogden temple renovation to include significant architectural face-lift, Ogden Utah Temple (original) and Ogden Utah Temple Facts (renovated). This is the only temple the Church has reduced the size of.
Provo Utah Temple
The Provo Utah Temple is the oldest temple to not yet undergo a major renovation (Deseret News: LDS Church not just temple-building, but temple-renovating). The Church is planning on renovating it after the dedication of the Orem Utah Temple (At the October 2021 General Conference, the Prophet Says the Church Will Build 13 More Temples). At that point the Seattle Washington Temple will be the oldest temple to not yet undergo a major renovation.
Washington DC Temple
When the Church renovated the Washington DC Temple they installed energy-efficient mechanical, electrical and lighting systems and new plumbing as well as refreshing and restoring the mid-century modern interior and adding backlights to the stained glass. They rededicated it in 2022 (Open House Begins for Washington D.C. Temple).
São Paulo Brazil Temple
Tokyo Japan Temple
When the Church renovated the Tokyo Japan Temple they renovated its interior and exterior, added a four-story annex next to the temple that includes a visitors’ center, chapel, offices for the Asia North Area and mission and a family history center. They also made improvements to meet current seismic standards. They rededicated it on 3 July 2022 (President Eyring rededicates Tokyo Japan Temple, Church’s longest-operating in Asia).
Jordan River Utah Temple
When the Church renovated the Jordan River Utah Temple they replaced escalators with staircases, moved some walls, updated the interior and added a separate baptistry entrance. They rededicated it in 2018 (Deseret News: LDS Church not just temple-building, but temple-renovating).
Atlanta Georgia Temple
The Atlanta Georgia Temple was originally about 26,000 sq. ft. (2.415 m2) the Church added a new and improved baptistry, which expanded the temple to 34,500 sq. ft. (3.205 m2). They rededicated the expansion in 1997. The Church renovated it again and rededicated the whole temple in 2011 (Deseret News: LDS Church not just temple-building, but temple-renovating).
Papeete Tahiti Temple
The Church renovated and expanded the five small South Pacific temples built in the early 1980's:
The Apia Samoa Temple was originally 14,560 sq. ft. (1.353 m2). As mentioned in my post on buildings; it burned almost to the ground during a renovation project, was totally rebuilt and is now 18,691 sq. ft. (1.736 m2). The Church rededicated it in 2005 (A Trial by Fire: The 2003 Destruction of the Apia Samoa Temple and Apia Samoa Temple).
The Papeete Tahiti Temple was originally about 10,000 sq. ft. (929 m2) the Church renovated and expanded it to 12,150 sq. ft. (1.129 m2) and rededicated it in 2006 (Deseret News: LDS Church not just temple-building, but temple-renovating and Papeete Tahiti Temple facts).
The Sydney Australia Temple was originally about 26,000 sq. ft. (2.415 m2) the Church added a new baptistry and expanded it to 30,677 sq. ft. (2.850 m2) and rededicated the expansion in 1991 (President Russell M. Nelson's Visits to the Pacific Since 1987).
Mexico City Mexico Temple
When the Church renovated the Mexico City Mexico Temple they reinforced the temple’s foundation, replaced the original stone facing and refurbished the angel Moroni statue then rededicated it in 2008. They renovated the interior starting in 2014 and rededicated it in 2015 (Deseret News: LDS Church not just temple-building, but temple-renovating).
Dallas Texas Temple
The three six spire temples that the Church built in the United States in the mid 1980's were used so much that they needed their square footage doubled almost immediately:
The Boise Idaho Temple was originally about 17,850 sq. ft. (1.658 m2) the Church renovated and expanded it to 35,868 sq. ft. (3.332 m2) and rededicated it in 1987 (Boise Idaho Temple). They renovated it again by updating and improving the interior and replacing the exterior stone, then they rededicated it in 2012 (Boise Idaho Temple Rededicated After Extensive Renovation).
Freiberg Germany Temple
The Freiberg Germany Temple is the only temple built in a Communist country (until Shanghi China). At first the Church was concerned that the East German government would change their mind and shut it down so they did not invest as much into it as they did most other temples. It was originally 7,840 sq. ft. (728 m2) and lacked air conditioning, which made the temple uncomfortable in the summertime (The Freiberg Temple: An Unexpected Legacy of a Communist State and a Faithful People by Raymond M. Kuehne, Dialog, Summer 2004, pg. 121 and Freiberg Germany Temple Rededicated). After the fall of Communism and German reunification the Church renovated and expanded it to 13,500 sq. ft. (1.254 m2) and rededicated it in 2002 (Freiberg Germany Temple). They renovated it again and expanded it to 21,529 sq. ft. (2.000 m2) then rededicated it in 2016 (Iconic Freiberg Germany Temple is once again a ‘spiritual headquarters’). See also Latter-day Saint Church History Europe: The Freiberg Germany Temple.
Buenos Aires Argentina Temple
The Buenos Aires Argentina Temple was originally 17,687 sq. ft. (1.643 m2) the Church renovated and expanded it to 28,299 sq. ft. (2.629 m2) and rededicated it in 2012 (Buenos Aires Argentina Temple: ‘We dedicate our lives’).
Frankfurt Germany Temple
When the Church renovated the Frankfurt Germany Temple they updated the interior and moved the baptistry to a new basement (Public Invited to Tour the Frankfurt Germany Temple). It was originally 24,170 ff (2.245 m2) (Frankfurt Germany Temple) and is now 32,895 sq. ft. (3,056 m2) (Frankfurt Germany Temple Fact Sheet).
When the Church renovated the Hong Kong China Temple they upgraded its mechanical, electrical, heating and plumbing systems, replaced all of its exterior stone, reworked some of the windows. They also reconfigured the interior including incorporating space that was used as a meetinghouse into the temple, which increased the temple's square footage from 21,744 sq. ft. (2,020 m2) (Hong Kong China Temple) to 51,921 sq. ft. (4,823 m2) (Hong Kong Temple Fact Sheet) (Church Releases Hong Kong China Temple Renovation Details)
Montreal Quebec Temple
Four of the 49 temples that follow the pattern of the Monticello Utah Temple have been renovated and expanded:
The Monticello Utah Temple was originally 7,000 sq. ft. (650 m2) the Church renovated and expanded it to 11,225 sq. ft. (1.043 m2) and rededicated it in 2002 (Monticello temple expands to match faith of members).
The Montreal Quebec Temple was originally 10,700 sq. ft. (994 m2) (Montreal Quebec Temple), the Church gave it mechanical upgrades along with updates in finishes and furnishings including a new exterior and tower and expanded it to 11,550 sq. ft. (1.073 m2) and rededicated it in 2015 (Montreal temple rededication).
The Suva Fiji Temple was originally 10,800 sq. ft. (1.003 m2) (Suva Fiji Temple) the Church renovated and expanded it to 12,755 sq. ft. (1.185 m2) and rededicated it in 2016 (Fiji Mormon Temple Opens its Doors to the Public).
Besides the four mini temples just mentioned, which were all expanded, The Church has renovated five more mini temples without expanding them. Instead the Church gave these temples mechanical upgrades along with updates in finishes and furnishings and (except Asunción) a new exterior and tower then re-dedicated them all in 2019. The affected temples were the Raleigh North Carolina (Raleigh North Carolina Temple Is Rededicated), Memphis Tennessee (Elder Holland Rededicates Renovated Memphis Tennessee Temple), Baton Rouge Louisiana (Apostle Rededicates the Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple), Oklahoma City Oklahoma (Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple Rededicated) and Asunción Paraguay (Asunción Paraguay Temple) temples.
Houston Texas Temple
Flood waters from Hurricane Harvey flooded the Houston Texas Temple on August 26, 2017, resulting in significant damage. After repairs the temple was rededicated in 2018 (Houston Texas Temple Reopens After Rededication).
The Church is currently renovating or plans to renovate the following temples and will rededicate them upon completion (in order of expected completion):
St. George Utah (Church Shares Renovation Plans for the St. George Utah Temple).
Salt Lake (Plans Unveiled for Salt Lake Temple Renovation).
Stockholm Sweden, scheduled to close for renovation in 2023 (Plans Announced for Temples in Puerto Rico and Sweden).
Provo Utah, scheduled to close for renovation following the dedication of the Orem Utah Temple (At the October 2021 General Conference, the Prophet Says the Church Will Build 13 More Temples).