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Provo's Mormon temple makes list of 'ugliest churches'

Published July 23, 2013 11:52 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Provo LDS temple has made RealClearReligion's "ugliest churches" list.

As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and this list, like all such assessments, is subjective. It favors more traditional religious architecture, while mocking modern expressions.

Still, Nicholas G. Hahn III, deputy editor of RealClearReligion, defends his choices.

"Not only are these artistic innovations ugly, but also bizarre, weird, dumb, and gross," Hahn writes. "These holy train wrecks come to you from Monroe, Ohio, to Uvari, India. Gaze upon these Catholic chapels and cathedrals, nondenominational megachurches, Baptist buildings, and even one mosque for good measure."

Check them all out and be sure to read Hahn's one-liners under each photo. He uses descriptions like this: "When hippies design churches"; or "Screenshot from a bad '70s alien flick"; "Wants to be a drive-in movie theater"; and "in case the local bomb shelter is full."

Provo's Mormon temple — whose twin in Ogden is getting a makeover — wasn't in Hahn's original 35, but made the additional list.

"Mormons," he writes beneath the photo, "can do better than this."

Maybe they are — and just down the hill in Provo, where crews are restoring the historic tabernacle, gutted by a fire in December 2010, and transforming it into the city's second Mormon temple.

Peggy Fletcher Stack