Video and Model Details
This is my most up to date version of the Ogden Temple Model.
Mid 2012 the Church revised the rendering of the temple. The stonework changed design slightly, the stone color changed and most noticeably, the spire changed from metal clad to stone clad.
As construction has progressed, I have identified 2 major errors in this model. On the north and south sides, the corner windows on the lower floor of the upper section do not actually exist. The second flaw is the design of the Baptistry entrance on the west side. As none of the church’s released renders showed that side, it was all guess work. It is shaping up somewhat different from what I have depicted.
Early Remodel Design
Video and Model Details
Ogden Utah Temple – 2014 – Initial Render
Pre Remodel Early Video
Video and Model Details
Ogden Utah Temple – 2002
Ogden Utah Temple Wiki
- 1 Video and Model Details
- 2 Video and Model Details
- 3 Video and Model Details
- 4 Renders
- 5 Ogden Utah Temple Wiki
- 5.1 Description
- 5.2 History
- 5.2.1 1920
- 5.2.2 1921
- 5.2.3 1924
- 5.2.4 1925
- 5.2.5 1966
- 5.2.6 1967
- 5.2.7 Announcement
- 5.2.8 Design
- 5.2.9 Groundbreaking
- 5.2.10 Cornerstone
- 5.2.11 Open House
- 5.2.12 Dedication
- 5.2.13 Operation
- 5.2.14 2002
- 5.2.15 Reconstruction
- 5.3 Myths and Stories
- 5.4 Presidents
- 5.5 Details
- 5.5.1 Other structures on the Temple Block
- 5.5.2 Exterior
- 5.5.3 Symbolism
- 5.5.4 Spires and Moroni
- 5.5.5 Interior
- 5.6 Individuals and Contractors
- 6 Sources and Links
The Ogden Utah Temple (formerly the Ogden Temple) is the sixteenth constructed and fourteenth operating temple. Located in Ogden, Utah, it was originally built with a modern, single-spire design very similar to the Provo Utah Temple. During a renovation completed in 2014, the exterior and interior were extensively changed. The temple in Ogden was the first built in Utah since the Salt Lake Temple was dedicated in 1893 and since Utah gained statehood in 1896.
The Ogden Temple serves more than 135,000 members. The intention to construct a temple in Ogden was announced by the LDS Church on August 24, 1967.
Talk of temple for Ogden can be documented as early as 13 December 1920, when a headline on the front page of the ‘Ogden Standard-Examiner’ proclaimed “Ogden to get temple, Mormons are told” At that time, both the Logan and Salt Lake Temples were already operating well beyond their capacity.
In May of 1921 President Heber J. Grant inspected a site being offered at 30th Street and Taylor on condition it be used to build a temple. President Grant was greatful for the offer, but as he did not feel a temple could be built at that time due to funds being tied up in other projects int he Church, he ultimately declined. He did however mention that he was partial to the property of Lester Park.
On 7 May 1924, an offer was made for a trade of some other property the Church owned in Ogden at that time, such as the property known as Tabernacle Square in downtown Ogden (Where the Temple now stands,) for Lester Park. This trade was also declined.
On 12 February of 1956 a tabernacle was dedicated on the lot that would eventually hold the temple. It was the last tabernacle the church would build before moving solely to a meetinghouse/stake center program.
A 1966 study found that 52 percent of temple work was being done in either the Salt Lake, Logan, or Manti temples, even though there were 13 operating temples throughout the world.
In the 1967 the recently formed Church Building Committee was asked to take a look into the overcrowding issues at Manti and Logan and see what could be done to expand the two temples there. They found that, since the temples had been constructed before building codes were put into place, that there was not much that could be done without building codes requiring large portions of the original temple be brought up to code as well. Their suggestion, was that rather than try to make either temple larger, which would include the cost of essentially renovating much of either existing temple, two new temples could be built for less cost. One temple was proposed in Ogden on the tabernacle block, which the Church already owned. The second location the committee proposed was in Provo on a seventeen acre block of property at the base of Rock Canyon being offered to the Church in Provo.
President McKay was highly in favor of the idea (being from Ogden himself,) and concurrent meetings were held with Stake Presidents in Ogden and Provo on 14 August 1967 to propose the building of the temples.
he intention to construct a temple in Provo was announced by the LDS Church on August 14, 1967, to help ease the overcrowding of the Salt Lake, Manti and Logan temples already in the area. Concurrent meetings were held with 28 stake presidents in Ogden and 25 Stake presidents in Provo to propose the idea of building the new temples. It was explained in both meetings that, while other areas of the Church were also in need of temples, it was felt these two new temples would serve the largest number of people. This was at a time when the local stakes were asked to raise a portion of the funds for the new temples and Churches, and needed to agree with the plan. The vote at both meetings was unanimous in the affirmative.
The project was then turned over to church Architect Emil B. Fetzer and his staff. President McKay was concerned that the church as a whole would think him a spendthrift for approving not one, but two new temples. The Church had just gone through a major change in emphasis in regards to budgets, and he had already overseen construction of the Los Angeles, Bern, Hamilton, London and Oakland Temples (to that date, no other prophet had overseen more than 4.) He gave the architects very specific orders for austerity and economy in these two new temples. The design guidelines included:
- Reasonable cost
- Full size Temples (Not smaller like the recent international temples)
- More compact and efficient, not large like the recent Los Angeles California and Oakland California Temples.
- No Assembly Room
- No Multiple spires, one only
- No Excess square footage
- No excess cubage (Vaulted or raised ceilings)
- One Architectural plan for both temples (absolutely no paying for two plans, though minor changes could be made to the exterior for different looks)
- No Angel Moroni (though the planning committee purportedly decided to strengthen the spires to hold the weight of a statue, just in case one could be added later.) And indeed, the artists render actually included a Moroni Statue on the spire.
President McKay said, “I would like these two Temples to be functional and economical with temple quality. In the coming years, many Temples will be built. Of necessity, these Temples must be functional in design and cost so that they may accomplish their sacred purposes.”
Brother Fetzer would remark that “I think this [Ogden/Provo] is the only building that I have designed in words before I started to put marks on paper.” The desing was wholly from the inside out, with the interior layout and efficiency being the paramount concern, knowing the exterior would come later.
After a few months of work and preliminary design, Brother Fetzer and his team were informed that film had been approved for wider domestic use to present the endowment, and that management of the sessions and tracking of ordinances would be turned completely over to the Church’s new computer systems. This meant the number of people needed to run a session and a temple as a whole was reduced significantly. This also meant drastic changes could be made in the design and layout. Three Months of work was thrown completely out and on a late flight from New York to England Brother Fetzer and Brother Fred Baker of the Building Committee discussed the changes, and ways to layout the design of the temple without the restrictions that had just been removed. By the time they landed in England, the had a preliminary design that featured 6 endowment rooms arrayed around a central celestial room, and estimates that this new design could perform more endowment sessions than any other temple in the Church.
Groundbreaking ceremonies for the Ogden Temple were held on 8 September 1969, President McKay’s birthday. The site was dedicated by Joseph Fielding Smith of the First Presidency, and the first shovel full of dirt was turned over by Elder Hugh B. Brown.
On 7 September 1970, a cornerstone laying ceremony was held with President Joseph Fielding Smith presiding and President N. Eldon Tanner of the First Presidency dedicating the cornerstone. Around 6,000 people were in attendance.
A public open house for the Ogden Temple was held daily from 16 -30 December 1971 (except Sundays and Christmas Day). During the 12 days of the open house it was estimated that more than 150,000 people attended, an average of 12,500 per day.
The Ogden Utah Temple was the 14th Temple in the Church, the 10th in the United States, and the 5th in Utah. At the time of its dedication, there were 2 other temples under construction and no temples undergoing remodel, The Provo Utah Temple and the Washington D.C. Temple.
After 1 week in operation, the statistical numbers from the Ogden Temple showed that it had out performed all other temples in the number of endowments performed. The Brethren leading the church were sure this could not be the case. Ogden did not have a high enough percentage of members to utilize the temple that well, and there was a certainty that nothing would ever be able to out perform the Salt Lake Temple, the Church’s flagship temple. The building department was given instruction to recheck the numbers and give a full report after the first month. The new numbers at the end of the first month confirmed the earlier numbers. Not only had the temple performed more endowments in a single month than any other temple, it had performed more endowments in one month than Logan Utah, Manti Utah, St. George Utah, and the Salt Lake Temple Combined.
Beginning in 2001 and lasting through much of 2002, both the exterior of the temple and the surrounding grounds underwent significant changes. Weather damage to the exterior of the temple was repaired and the spire, which was originally a yellowish-gold, was painted bright white. A fiberglass statue of the Angel Moroni covered in gold leaf was added to the temple’s spire, almost 30 years after the temple was dedicated. The temple grounds received redesigned walkways and paths allowing visitors to walk around the temple as well as to access the structure from the main adjacent street.
On 17 February 2010, the LDS Church announced that the Ogden Temple would undergo major exterior and interior renovations that would significantly modify the look of the building. The upgrades included replacing old electrical, heating, and plumbing systems with more modern, energy-saving equipment. Additional improvements included construction of a new underground parking structure, complete relandscaping of the temple block, and renovation of the adjacent Ogden Tabernacle, including removal of its spire. The interior was reduced from 131,000 to 115,000 sq ft, but through an improved design, there is more usable space following the reconstruction.
There has been much speculation as to whether or not the Provo Temple will follow suit someday, but there were 4 reasons for the remodel (According to a temple engineer) and Provo Temple is not affected by any of them. 1. It was built over an underground river which was resulting in a perpetual mold problem they could not overcome. The Provo Temple is on a slope in the foothills with plenty of rock under the foundation, and now water table issues. 2. It was built on a fault line. The Provo Temple sits about a1/4 mile to the west of the wasatch fault system. While very near, it is not directly on as is the case with Ogden Temple. 3. The temple was doing only 35 marriages a year (the SLC Temple does about 50-70 a week). Unlike the Ogden Utah Temple, The Provo Utah Temple is fed by the MTC and the BYU Students and never had issues with attendance. While the number of weddings there is relatively low, there is no need to attract extra patronage. 4. The stated reason for the remodel was that the church wanted to support the revitalization efforts in downtown Ogden. The Provo Temple is not in a neighborhod that is as run down as downtown Ogden was in the years prior to the dedication.
As part of the overhaul, the spire was removed, and the upper two stores demolished down to a central structural core. Seismic improvements were made to the core of the structure, and a new temple built around the reinforced framework. The lower story was gutted, the shell remaining largely in place, and a new entryway was carved into the east side.
On April 25, 2014, the church announced that with renovations nearing completion, a public open house would be held from 1 August 1 to 6 September 2014.
On September 20, 2014, the day before the temple rededication, approximately 8,000 youth participated in a cultural celebration titled “Shine the Light,”which included a telling of the area’s history through song and dance.
At the time of the Temple’s rededication there were (including Ogden,) 144 temples in operation, 71 temples in the United States, and 15 Temples in Utah. Additionally there were 14 Temples under construction, 12 Temples awaiting groundbreaking, and 3 temples undergoing renovation.
|Temples Under Construction||Temples Awaiting Groundbreaking||Temples undergoing renovation|
|Indianapolis Indiana||Concepcion Chile||Mexico City Mexico|
|Tijuana Mexico||Lisbon Portugal||Montreal Quebec|
|Hartdord Connecticut||Urdaneta Phillipines||Suva Fiji|
|Meridian Idaho||Kinshasa DRC|
|Fort Collins Colorado||Barranquilla Columbia|
|Phoenix Arizona||Durban South Africa|
|Cordoba Argentina||Winnipeg Manitoba|
|Rome Italy||Star Valley Wyoming|
|Trujillo Peru||Aeriquipa Peru|
|Sapporo Japan||Tucson Arizona|
|Fortaleza Brazil||Cedar City Utah|
|Payson Utah||Rio De Janeiro Brazil|
|Provo City Center|
Myths and Stories
There has been a tradition that Emil Fetzer intended the Temple to represent a pillar of fire by night (in the gold spire) and the pillar of cloud by day (The third story above the windows,) as told in Exodus. 13:21, which states” “The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way and in a pillar of light by night …” Thus, the white facade of the Temples was the white cloud and the golden spire was lighted at night to represent a pillar of fire.
One source goes so far as to state that he was told this by Kieth Wilcox (Architect of the Washington D.C. Temple) who was told in turn by Emil Fetzer.
Another individual, (This page, 13th comment) however, who says she interviewed Emil Fetzer for a paper on Architecture Symbolism for a class at BYU says that “there was no intended symbolism; in fact, he sounded surprised that “everyone knows”… He may have had a vision, but he wouldn’t admit it to me;… had little patience for all the symbolism…”
There is no mention of symbolism or symbolic intent in articles covering the temple dedication, which went into great detail about the design process. A request for information from the Church History Library returned the answer that they could not find any source for the symbolism, and it was never mentioned by Emil fetzer in the documents and histories they have for him. They believe the story rose some time after the dedication.
The story is very familiar, and spread far and wide. It may be true, or it may just be a very obvious comparison. (I myself made the same connection in the design as a young man without any input from anyone else.) It may be that there is no definitive answer to whether or not this story is true, but it should be noted that none of the other temples designed by Emil B. Fetzer have any claimed overt spiritual symbolism to their design. If he did intend the symbolism, it would have been quite a break from his usual style.
|TEMPLE PRESIDENT||YEARS SERVED|
|President Michael L. Vellinga||2017–|
|President Fredrick Froerer III||2014–2017|
|President Robert R. Steuer||2008–2011|
|President Gordon T. Watts||2005–2008|
|President Dale L. Gardner||2002–2005|
|President J. Kirk Moyes||1999–2002|
|President Collins E. Jones||1996–1999|
|President Harvey M. Broadbent||1993–1996|
|President Dorman H. Baird||1990–1993|
|President E. LaMar Buckner||1987–1990|
|President Milton C. Mecham||1985–1987|
|President Keith W. Wilcox||1980–1985|
|President Leslie T. Norton||1976–1980|
|President A. Reed Halversen||1972–1976|
The site for the temple is a 10-acre (40,000 m2) lot called Tabernacle Square that the church had owned since the area was settled. At the time of construction, the Ogden Temple differed from temples built previously by the LDS Church. The original design was very contemporary and the lot chosen is in downtown Ogden, surrounded by businesses and offices.
The Ogden Temple was originally constructed with 115,000 square feet (10,700 m2) and four floors, one below ground. The temple included six ordinance rooms and eleven sealing rooms. The stone on the temple was fluted and decorative metal grillwork was added between the stone. Gold windows with directional glass also added to the beauty of the temple.
Other structures on the Temple Block
There are a number of other significant buildings located on the same block as the temple. The first building constructed was the Weber Stake Tabernacle (1855) on the southeast corner of the block. It was demolished in 1971 in conjunction with the construction of the temple.
The Weber Stake Relief Society Building, completed in 1902, was located on the western portion of the block. It was deeded to the Weber County Daughters of the Utah Pioneers in 1926, who used it as a pioneer museum. In January 2012 it was moved approximately one block west to a lot donated by the City of Ogden. The move was to accommodate a new parking structure built as a part of the temple remodel.
The Miles Goodyear Cabin was located adjacent to the Weber Stake Relief Society Building as part of the pioneer museum from 1928 to late 2011, when it was moved to the new pioneer museum location.
The largest of the other structures to occupy the lot is the Ogden Tabernacle, constructed in 1956. The large tower on the north side of the building was removed in the 2010–14 renovation.
While the original exterior of the Ogden Utah Temple was less ornate than the new, the original windows were slightly more ornate. The windows themselves were gold mirrored glass like those at Provo Utah Temple. The upper story had a decorative grillwork over them, a series of interlocking inverted arches in a weave like pattern that would be used in carvings all over the inside and outside of the refurbished temple.
The new windows on the temple are art glass manufactured by Art Glass Studio in Salt Lake City.
There were two inscriptions on the Ogden Utah Temple. The first inscription was on the east (back) side of the temple and was added as part of the construction. The letters are engraved into the precast concrete and gilded. The inscription also featured the name of the Church and the name of the Temple.
THE HOUSE OF THE LORD HOLINESS TO THE LORD
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS
The second inscription on the Ogden Utah Temple was a newer addition. It was added around the time the grounds were re-landscaped 2002-2003. It was on the East Side side of the temple to the right (south) of the front doors. The letters were raised brass.
TO THE LORD
OF THE LORD
There are 2 inscriptions on the Ogden Utah Temple. The first is on the east side of the temple above the east entrance. The letters are engraved into the stone and gilded.
HOLINESS TO THE LORD
THE HOUSE OF THE LORD
The second inscription is on the west side of the temple on the cover above the west entry way. The letters are engraved into the stone and gilded.
HOLINESS TO THE LORD ♢ THE HOUSE OF THE LORD
The cornerstone for the Provo Utah Temple is on Northern most corner, facing east. (This is a departure from most temples, where the cornerstone is on the south east most corner.) The text is inscribed in a marble panel and are gilded.
The cornerstone on the renovated temple is in a more traditional location, on the south east corner facing east. The letters are engraved into the stone and painted black.
Spires and Moroni
The original gold spire of the temple was 180 feet in height. Cylindrical in shape, it was comprised of 6 progressively smaller tiers. Each of the tiers was made of 8 segments with a scalloped top and a scalloped front. The 2nd and 3rd segments and the 5th and 6th tapered severely towards the base. The 1st segment had straight sides, and the 4th had a slight taper that was nearly straight. In all it gave the spire a rough and jagged look similar to a fountain or a lightning bolt. The upper 2 segments of the spire were gilded, giving them a brighter and richer color than the rest of the spire.
On November 18, 2002, an angel Moroni statue was added to the Ogden Utah Temple, 30 years after its dedication, as part of an exterior renovation project. The spire—originally colored gold—was painted a brilliant white to lend distinction to the statue.To accommodate the statue, the 2 top segments comprising about 25 feet were removed. This put the angel and a more solid foundation. As the angel was about 13 feet in height, including the sphere, this put the spire about 12 feet shorter than original, making the temple about 168 feet in height.
The renovated spire of the temple is a single multi stepped construction, in the same location as the first. The spire is now all clad in stone. The central tower of the spire is square, with art glass windows on each side. Above that, as the spire narrows it converts to an octagonal shape. The final tapered section has brass inserts on the 4 edges in line with the corners from below, adding some sparkle to he spire.
The total height of the new spire 188 feet 8 inches including the Angel Moroni Statue, or roughly 8 and 3/4 feet taller than it was when first built.
A statue was added in 2002 as part of an exterior renovation.
During the 2012-2014 renovation the Angel Statue was removed, refurbished, and placed back on the spire on 7 May 2013, shortly after the upper portion of the new spire was lifted into place. The statue is a fiberglass casting of a statue carved by Karl Quilter in 1985. It is placed on teh spire to face east.
Carved stone and wood capitals illustrate the exceptionally fine craftsmanship displayed throughout the Ogden Utah Temple. Art glass decorates the temple interior and exterior. The celestial room, which represents heaven on earth, has an art-glass dome instead of the central chandelier typical of a number of celestial room designs. Four gorgeous Art Deco–style chandeliers hang throughout the room, and four torchieres of a similar design stand on stone pillars on the floor. Design motifs include the desert rose, prairie grass and a weave pattern that echoes a design element from the original temple.
Individuals and Contractors
|Architect||Mark B. Graff|
|Architect||Emil B. Fetzer|
||Fred A. Baker|
||Richardson Design Partnership|
||The Facade Group LLC|
|Advanced Stone Engineering
||Water Design Inc.|
|Steel and Metal Work
Sources and Links
- MormonTemples.org (official)
- MormonNewsroom.org (official)
- “Front Page,” Ogden Standard-Examiner,(via Library of Congress) 13 December 1920. Accessed 13 August 2017.↩
- “First Presidency Inspects Temple Site” Deseret News, 16 May 1921. Accessed 13 August 2017↩
- “The Detailed Story of the Old and New Ogden Temples,” Nighuntokolob.blogspot.com, 17 December 2015. Accessed 2 October 2016. ↩
- Green, Doyle L., “Two Temples to Be Dedicated”, Ensign, January 1972↩
- David O. McKay, quoted in Emil Baer Fetzer, Completed Writings of Emil Baer Fetzer, 2003, 3, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.↩
- “Why were the first Ogden/Provo LDS temples designed the way they were?”Nighuntokolob.blogspot.com, 8 February 2016. Accessed 2 October 2016.↩
- “Ogden Utah Temple to receive improvements, Moroni statue”, Church News, September 14, 2002↩
- Stack, Peggy Fletcher (February 17, 2010), “‘Somewhat dated’ LDS temple to get new look”, The Salt Lake Tribune↩
-  “News Story: Ogden Temple to Get Architectural Facelift”, Newsroom, LDS Church, February 17, 2010↩
- Askar, Jamshid (February 18, 2010), “Ogden temple renovation to include significant architectural face-lift”, Church News↩
- Saxton, Bryon (October 21, 2012), “Ogden Temple renovation update elicits ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs'”, Standard-Examiner, retrieved 2012-10-26↩
-  “News Release: Ogden Utah Temple Will Be Rededicated in September 2014”, Newsroom [MormonNewsroom.org], LDS Church, 25 April 2014↩
- “News Release: Ogden Utah Temple Rededicated by President Thomas S. Monson”, Newsroom [MormonNewsroom.org], LDS Church, 21 September 2014↩
- “Museum History”. Weber County DUP Museum. Retrieved 1 January 2015.↩