PROVO -- In keeping with the Victorian styling of the new Provo City Center Temple, construction crews have placed the framework for the south end gazebo on the site of the former Provo Tabernacle.
The 5,290-square-foot, two-story pavilion, located approximately midway between 100 and 200 South, will serve as a waiting area for non-temple patrons and a place for wedding parties to take pictures. It will connect to the underground parking via elevator.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints expects the Provo City Center Temple to be a busy wedding temple, with all of the photo areas that will be provided.
Local observers will note the great strides construction crews have made during the past few months. The site is beginning to unfold just how much of a showpiece and a welcoming edifice the new temple will be. Completion is still more than a year out -- no date has been set by the LDS Church. It is anticipated the temple will be completed by the end of 2015.
According to plans, the temple will be approximately 85,084 square feet with four floors -- two below ground and two above. The main, ground-level entrance will be on the south side of the building; there also will be an entrance from the underground parking area. From ground level to the top of the middle spire is 127 feet. That does not include the statue of the Angel Moroni.
There will be underground parking for 245 vehicles, and an additional surface parking lot for 50 vehicles at the south end of the temple grounds. Both lots will be accessible from 200 South and 100 West.
The Provo City Center Temple has more extensive grounds and less surface parking than any other LDS temple.
When it comes to landscaping, both temple patrons and the community will get more than the lush flower gardens, trees and grass that will be planted at the site. A 17-foot, bronze, four-tiered Victorian fountain with ornamental nozzles will grace the grounds near 100 South. The finial at the top is replicated from a stair newel post from the tabernacle's interior banister that led to the pulpit and stand. Scalloped shingles matching the original 1800s design will be used on the roof. The top of the fence posts will feature beehives.
According to LDS Church descriptions, "The entire temple grounds will be beautifully landscaped and will be open to the public following the temple's operations schedule, consistent with all LDS temples. The grounds closest to the temple will have a taller fence and gates, whereas the grounds both north and south of the temple fence will have lower perimeter fencing and are not gated."
Public gardens with benches, shrubs, trees and grass will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the north end of the property, similar to the old tabernacle park.
"This is an urban temple," said Gary McGinn, Provo's community development director. "They are going to landscape the heck out of it."
The interior floors will feature the typical rooms found in all LDS temples including the baptistry, dressing rooms, lockers, offices and a bride's dressing room on the lower levels. The above-ground levels will include a chapel, instruction rooms, offices, lobbies and five rooms where marriages are performed.