The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is providing an updated glimpse of what Temple Square and the Main Street Plaza will look like when ongoing renovations are completed.
It’s the latest peek at a project that began in January 2020 and was originally scheduled to be done in 2024 — until the church announced in December that the four-year plan is now a five-year plan that will wrap up in 2025.
The renderings show the iconic Salt Lake Temple, with its spires restored and the scaffolding removed, the neighboring Salt Lake Tabernacle gleaming in the sunlight, the grounds relandscaped after the demolition of the North and South Visitors’ centers.
Construction of the landmark temple began in 1853 and was completed 40 years later. The structure was damaged in March 2020 when a magnitude 5.7 earthquake, centered Magna, struck. The golden Angel Moroni statue atop the temple lost its trumpet and stones were dislodged from the spires. (The statue was removed in May 2020 and is undergoing repairs and then will be reinstalled.)
Major updates on the temple continue — in addition to an expansion and other renovations, it’s undergoing a seismic retrofit — the area where the North Visitors’ Center once stood is now being filled with soil to create a level surface for future construction of additional restrooms. A new water well is also being drilled.
The 11-foot replica of Bertel Thorvaldsen’s Christus statue, which once stood in the North Visitors’ Center, will return to Temple Square, according to the church, but where it will be placed has not been announced.
And if you’re hoping to walk from South Temple to North Temple — or vice versa — along Main Street, you’ll soon have to take a detour. The walkway through the Main Street Plaza will close on April 11 and isn’t scheduled to reopen until fall 2023.
That’ll add 1,980 feet to your walk as you circle around either the block to the east or the block to the west.
The plaza will be closed, according to a news release, so that the deck can be inspected and repaired; the waterproofing system can be updated (the plaza sits above an underground parking lot); the north and south entry fountains can be refurbished; a larger reflecting pool can be installed; and landscaping can be refreshed to better integrate the Main Street Plaza with the newly planned Church Office Building plaza and the Salt Lake Temple grounds.
The church also announced that a fourth concrete pour was completed in early March that finished the bottom floor of the north addition to the temple. This new footing is 42 inches thick and heavily reinforced with steel. The construction of shear walls and columns to support upper floors has also begun.