The St. George Temple, the first of four pioneer-era temples for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that is shutting down to undergo extensive renovations, closed Monday.
“This is one of the beautiful, premier temples in the church,” Brent Roberts, managing director of the church’s special projects department, said earlier this year in a news release. “Latter-day Saints have worshipped here for almost 150 years. However, the building has worn out over time, and it is once again time for us to refresh and strengthen this historic structure for future generations to enjoy.”
The three-year overhaul will include “limited seismic upgrades” to the iconic white-plastered temple, with steel being added to the structure’s original wooden trusses, along with installation of new heating and cooling systems, and partial demolition and rebuilding of the temple annex.
In April, the church detailed plans to strengthen and make over its landmark Salt Lake Temple against earthquakes, an undertaking that will begin Dec. 29 and is expected to take four years.
The St. George Temple, dedicated in 1877, was the Beehive State’s first.
Two other historic Utah temples — in Logan and Manti — also will be renovated, though details have yet to be announced.
A year ago, the Salt Lake City-based church announced it would build a second temple in southwestern Utah’s Washington County. With Latter-day Saint temples also planned in Saratoga Springs, Orem, Taylorsville, Tooele Valley and Layton, Utah will be home to 23 such edifices.
Latter-day Saints view temples as Houses of God, places where faithful members take part in their most sacred ceremonies, including eternal marriages.