My former colleague Genelle Pugmire reported over the weekend that the LDS Church has filed “800 pages of descriptions, elevations, floor plans and landscaping” about the under-construction Provo Tabernacle Temple/City Center Temple. When I first began reading I was skeptical — I’ve written repeatedly that we shouldn’t be so sure the project will revitalize downtown — but by the end of the article I was genuinely excited.
For starters, Josh Yost with the city — who is brilliant — is quoted as saying the church is going to great lengths to preserve the structure. I trust Josh, so I trust that this project is actually being done right.
Among the more exciting features is a “17-foot bronze four-tiered Victorian fountain with ornamental nozzles,” fence posts topped with Beehives, extensive landscaping with less surface parking, and a two story pavilion for taking pictures and waiting around.
In addition, some of the grounds will remain open all the time:
“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,” Hall added.
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. There also will be gardens on the west side of the temple where the current Nu Skin parking terrace is located.
Keeping some of the grounds open all the time — in addition to lower fences, etc. — will help the temple avoid becoming a spatial black hole as other temples are in other cities.
The article states that the project was originally going to be done in 2015, though that deadline is apparently not fixed due to the complexity of dealing with the building’s historic character.