News Release

Temple Square Renovation Project Updates: January - March, 2020

In April 2019, President Russell M. Nelson announced plans for the renovation of the Salt Lake Temple. In December 2019, the Salt Lake Temple was or closed for renovation. The following are regular updates about the progress of the Salt Lake Temple renovation, which is expected to take four years.

March 27, 2020

Following a seismic event on March 18, the Salt Lake Temple and site were thoroughly inspected and work has resumed as normal. Over the past several weeks, construction crews have:

  • Made progress on abatement work inside the temple.
  • Removed the final set of historic temple doors for preservation.
  • Continued installing HVAC units in the upper floor of the temple.
  • Continued removal work of stone facing on the temple chapel on the north end of the grounds.
  • Begun installing a project fence with viewing windows on the east side of the job site, near the reflection pool on the Main Street Plaza.
  • Begun working to backfill and compact the ground where the South Visitors’ Center was removed.
  • Begun demolition of a pedestrian tunnel at the south end of the temple, exposing the existing temple foundation.


March 6, 2020


This week, Jacobsen and the construction team primarily worked on the area south of the temple and within the temple. Specific accomplishments from this week and plans for next week are as follows:

  • Debris from the South Visitors’ Center was removed from the site to be recycled and repurposed.
  • Construction began on a utility bridge on the west side of the temple. It will supply temporary power and water to the temple during the renovation.
  • Lead paint and asbestos abatement have been successfully completed in several areas of the interior of the temple. This work continues in other areas of the temple.
  • A project fence has been installed on the west side of the site. It includes windows to allow visitors on Temple Square to view the construction activities from various points. These same features will be present on the fence on the east side of the site when it is in place in the coming weeks.
  • The first devotional for the construction workers was held on March 4. Emily Utt, Church historic sites curator, was the featured speaker and discussed “a sense of the sacred.” The following is an excerpt from her remarks:

“High on the east tower of the Salt Lake Temple are carved the words ‘Holiness to the Lord.’ That phrase is a reminder to everyone who walks past that it is a holy building. A sacred building. The temple isn’t a common public building. It was built for a higher purpose.

“Holiness to the Lord is also a testimony from those who built the temple. Their work wasn’t just about building a wall or digging a trench. The temple was a statement about their belief in God. It was a statement about how they could give their very best to Him. The temple was the place where they would make sacred promises, called covenants, with God. It was the place they would create relationships that would last forever. Even if they didn’t live to see it completed, the temple would be a place of holiness for their children and the generations after.

“That same attitude can direct our work on the temple. Every day we walk under the sign stating that this building is holy. Keeping a sense of the sacred is giving our very best to the project. It is taking the time to do the job right even if no one sees it. It is asking for God’s help as we work. If we approach our problems with a sense of the sacred, we will be guided to the right solutions. Even though this is a messy and noisy construction site, we can keep this a holy place. Your daily efforts to keep a sense of the sacred will keep this temple holy until it is rededicated.”

—Emily Utt (construction team devotional, Mar. 4, 2020)


February 28, 2020

Construction teams have made significant progress over the past two months. Trees, shrubs, and statues surrounding the Salt Lake Temple have been removed from the site. The South Visitors’ Center has also been removed along with portions of the historic Temple Square wall.

          Accomplishments from this week include:
  • Temporary scaffolding installed on the south side of the temple to place mechanical equipment and remove several windows on the fifth floor.
  • Windows on the first and fifth floors removed, packed, and transported to be refurbished.
  • Historic exterior doors removed through a carefully planned process. Temporary doors are in place until the historic doors return following restoration.
  • Temporary utilities installed to supply utilities to the site.
  • Excavation underway to remove a tunnel south of the temple to allow excavation work to begin, which will expose the existing foundations of the temple.

January 6, 2020

Earlier this year, President Nelson announced the renovation of the Salt Lake Temple and updates to Temple Square. The temple will close December 29, 2019, and will remain closed for approximately four years while undergoing a major structural and seismic renovation.

During the announcement, President Nelson said, “This project will enhance, refresh, and beautify the temple and its surrounding grounds. … We promise that you will love the results. They will emphasize and highlight the life, ministry, and mission of Jesus Christ in His desire to bless every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.”

Additional renderings showing the planned renovation of the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been released.  

“We are working hard to prepare for the beginning of construction in a few short weeks,” said Brent Roberts, managing director of the Church’s Special Projects Department. “The four additional renderings released today indicate the careful and elegant approach we are taking in the renovation of this house of the Lord. We also look forward to welcoming many visitors to Temple Square during the next few years to witness this historic renovation.”


Salt Lake Temple renovation:

  • The temple additions on the north side will be demolished.
  • The temple’s mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems will be replaced.
  • The temple will be protected from significant earthquake damage with the installation of a seismic stabilizer around its foundation.

Temple Square construction:

  • Portions of the wall around Temple Square will be removed or modified to allow more inviting views and better access to temple grounds.
  • The South Visitors’ Center will be demolished, and the Temple Square mission office will move to the Relief Society Building.
  • The Church Office Building Plaza will begin renovation Fall 2020.

Nearby roads and pedestrian walkways will be periodically impacted and changed. Additional alerts will be sent to notify you of traffic or pedestrian disruptions. 


  • December 29, 2019—Salt Lake Temple will close.
  • January 1, 2020—South Visitors’ Center will close to prepare for demolition.
  • January 1, 2020—Conference Center will become center of the new Temple Square guest experience. Hours of operation for visitors will be 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily.
  • January 2, 2020—Installation of construction fencing will commence.
  • January 2, 2020—Tunnel from Conference Center to Church Office Building will close.
  • Mid-January—Various trees and statues on the north and south sides of the temple will be removed.
  • Mid-January—The South Visitors’ Center demolition will commence, and portions of the south wall will come down.

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