Crews have begun tearing down the North Visitors’ Center on downtown Salt Lake City’s Temple Square.
A fixture at one of Utah’s most popular tourist attractions for nearly 60 years, the building will be replaced with open gardens.
“This area will become a peaceful, quiet space on Temple Square,” Andy Kirby, director of historic temple renovations for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said in a news release back in June. The gardens, which will be completed by 2023, “will also provide a more direct and clear view of the Salt Lake Temple from the northwest area of Temple Square, enhancing the prominence of the temple.”
The demolition of the emptied center, erected in 1963, is another step in the reshaping of the historic square during the ongoing renovation and seismic upgrade of the iconic Salt Lake Temple.
One of the center’s best-known attractions — the 11-foot replica of Bertel Thorvaldsen’s Christus statue, an image of Jesus that has been incorporated into the church’s official symbol — will be moved to another location on the square near the end of the renovation project.