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  • Writer's pictureNathan Augustine

Renovations and Expansions

Updated: Sep 5

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 16 other temples, one of them twice and is renovating or is planning to renovate five more including another second renovation.

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:

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:

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). The renovation will be much like what the Church did for the Ogden Utah Temple. 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

The São Paulo Brazil Temple was originally 51,279 sq. ft. (4.764 m2) the Church renovated and expanded it to 55,000 sq. ft. (5.110 m2) and rededicated it in 2004 (Sao 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-search 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:

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:

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 sq. ft (2.245 m2) (Frankfurt Germany Temple) and is now 32,895 sq. ft. (3,056 m2) (Frankfurt Germany Temple Fact Sheet).

Hong Kong China Temple

When the Church renovated the Hong Kong China Temple they upgraded its mechanical, electrical, heating and plumbing systems, replaced all of its exterior stone and reworked some of the windows. They also reconfigured the interior by 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

Of the 49 temples that follow the pattern of the Monticello Utah Temple, 10 have been renovated and / or expanded:

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):

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