The Victorian-style Provo City Center Temple construction continues from the ashes of the Provo Tabernacle, scheduled for completion late 2015.
The most recent construction updates include the Holiness to the Lord stone under the east gable uncovered Tuesday and the framing of the south-end gazebo, an area reserved for non-temple patrons to wait and for wedding parties to take pictures.
Julie Markham, owner of the unofficial temple construction blog, newtempleinprovo.blogspot.com, follows the construction vigilantly.
“Arches are throughout the new temple and were actually part of the original pioneer design. The architects have done as much as they could to preserve the style of the pioneer tabernacle,” Markham said.
Visitors will forget they are in downtown Provo, as the landscaping plans will turn the bustling Center Street location into a sacred space.
Josh Yost, a Provo City planner, said the new design of the temple grounds will be “a smaller version of Temple Square in Salt Lake City” due to the smaller parking area compared to Salt Lake City. The main entrance will be on the south side; parking includes a 50-car aboveground parking lot and an underground garage parking lot with the capacity to hold 245 cars.
As the underground levels of the temple and surrounding parking garage were being constructed, the temple stood on stilts, holding together the frame of the building.
“This was not the original vision we had for turning the tabernacle into a temple,” said Andy Kirby, the LDS Church’s project manager for the new temple. “In fact, I remember that on several occasions we specifically said, ‘We do not want to see the entire building in the air — we want to be able to sleep at night.’ But as we worked through several different construction concepts, this approach evolved. And yes, there are some nights we don’t get a lot of sleep.”
The renovation comes after the December 2010 fire that destroyed the interior of the building. The rebuilding project was announced in October 2011, and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland presided over the groundbreaking ceremony in May 2012.
“What an absolute stunning site,” said Elder Holland at the ceremony. “You can tell people Elder Holland was downright giddy today about the temple groundbreaking.”
The traditional gold-leafed figure of the angel Moroni was hoisted into place atop the central tower of the Provo City Center Temple Monday, March 31 of this year.
Anyone with Internet access can follow the daily progress through a Work Zone Cam, sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The webcam provides updates every half hour on the temple’s transformation.
Patrons can expect temple sessions that progress from room to room. There are two A rooms that hold 96 seats, one large B room and the Celestial Room, according to ldstemples.org.
The temple will accommodate 100 people per temple session every hour. Additionally, the temple will house five sealing rooms used for marriages.
The Provo City Center Temple will serve members from sixteen stakes — eight from Provo and eight from Springville.
“This is a beautiful rebirth,” Kirby said. “From extreme adversity, the old tabernacle is being reborn to a higher purpose. There is symbolism there for all of us. You go through difficult times, even tragedy, and you can come back better and stronger than ever.”