Sunday, February 6, 2011

Original Salt Lake Temple Annex Building

Original Salt Lake Temple Annex Building

There are and have been several annexes to the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Currently there is a sealing room annex or addition. This is the portion of the temple attached to the main temple on the north that juts out and is filled with sealing rooms. I’m not talking about that building. There is also an annex north of the temple that is a separate building that you enter to go in the temple. This annex contains the dressing rooms and a chapel that looks similar to a miniature Salt Lake Temple. I'm not talking about that building. This post is about the annex that the current annex replaced.
Original Salt Lake Temple Annex Interior

Originally one would enter the Salt Lake Temple from an annex on the north where the current annex stands. The annex was done with the same symbols as the Salt Lake Temple (and I think in the same stone). It had stars and small spires in the same style as the Salt Lake Temple. The main difference from the Salt Lake Temple was that the annex was done in a Victorian version of a Byzantine style, similar to Greek Orthodox churches. Arches and domes and curves were used in a way not seen in the Salt Lake Temple. Stained glass was also used. As time went by, the Salt Lake Temple became busier. The small capacity of the annex, and the fact that its style didn’t perfectly match the Salt Lake Temple probably led to it being replaced by the current annex in the 1960s. I wish I could have seen the original annex and could use it. I think its architecture is more interesting than the current annex (and I like the current annex). I understand that it didn't match the temple or meet the needs of the church.
On a side note, after the original annex was torn down, but before the current annex was completed, the North Visitors Center on Temple Square was used for a short time as a temporary annex to the Salt Lake Temple (it was even dedicated as a temporary annex). This is the visitor's center that currently holds the Christus statue. Once the current annex was completed, the visitor's center was turning into a visitor's center.

I would like to see the old annex rebuilt somewhere else. I think it would make an excellent style for a small temple. The architectural style could also be used for a medium or large sized temple. The history of the building makes it a good choice for a new temple style. Also, I think the annex is very attractive, interesting, unique, and beautiful. I'm fine if a temple was just done in the style of the annex while not being an exact replica. If we ever build a temple in Greece or Turkey or another country with Byzantine or Greek influences, I think patterning the temple on the original Salt Lake Temple annex would be an excellent decision.

Please comment and let everyone know what you think about the original Salt Lake Temple annex, or other temple annexes, or patterning future temples on buildings that have been torn down.

1 comment:

Bert said...

It's interesting that I have never noticed the dressing room and chapel annex. At least not from the point of view of the picture you linked to. It's amazing how much we miss. I will have to check it out. thanks!