The LDS Church announced yesterday that the Ogden Temple is going to get a face lift as part of the Ogden downtown revitalization project. As you can see from the photos, it’s going to be a dramatic change.
When most people look at the Ogden Temple, they see an architectural disaster. When compared to the Temples that the Church had in operation at that time, Salt Lake, Logan, Manti, St. George, Laie Hawaii, Cardston Alberta, etc. (go here to take a look). All of the Temples were land marks and “monuments,” they were also expensive to construct and operate.
In the 1950’s and 60’s the Church was having financial difficulties, to put it lightly, and President David O. McKay charged Church Architect Emil Fetzer “to design [an] economical and functional” Temple. “We can’t continue to build huge monuments. We have to have temples that the membership can use to do efficient temple work,” President McKay had said.
What Fetzer came up with was exactly what President McKay had requested – an economical and functional Temple. The interior design was changed. “Fetzer’s fundamental innovation… [was] having multiple ordinance rooms – as few as two and as many as six – opening into a single celestial room….”
This design became “the central interior feature in new temples throughout the world.” At the time, the Salt Lake Temple was performing roughly 50,000 endowments a month. The first month that the Ogden Temple was open, they completed 75,000.
I’m excited for the Ogden Temple. Finally it is getting the recognition that it deserves.
*Quotes taken from David O. McKay and The Rise of Modern Mormonism, pp 269-271.