Sunday, April 24, 2011

Exterior Temple Staircases

This is another installment on Latter-day Saint Temple staircases.  This time I'm focusing on exterior temple staircases.

There are a lot of simple exterior staircases.  The Kirtland Temple had a few steps leading to each door.  The Nauvoo Temple was built with a more grand entry with a large set of front steps.

Three of the pioneer temples included exterior staircases.  Here are the stairs leading to the front doors in the St. George Utah Temple, Manti Utah Temple (only the east doors), and Salt Lake Temple.   I like the grand scale of these staircases.  Visually, they make the temple seem like a higher place.  In fact, these doors were for the most part planned to only be rarely used (there are separate entrances to the temples) so the staircases really were mainly to give an elevated architectural look.  The Manti Temple also used to have a grand staircase going all the way up the hill to the west entrance (which was the main entrance until the 1980s).  The staircase was impressive.  It was added some years after the temple was completed, and has since been removed.  I think that is a shame as it greatly enhanced the temple's west side.  I think they should re build it.  There is another exterior staircase at the Manti Temple.  This one is on the large crenellated retaining wall (that is used in the Manti pageant for Samuel the Lamanite's speach).  I really like the uniqueness of the staircase.  It leads up to the east entry, which leads into the assembly hall of the temple.

Now I'm just going to hit on a few exterior stairs of note.  The London England Temple has some modest stairs.  I'm sure the Oakland California Temple has some stairs to get up to the rooftop gardens, but I haven't seen them.  The Mexico City Temple includes some nice tall staircases.  The Cochabamba Bolivia Temple has a nice grand front staircase.  The Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple has a front staircase.  The Redlands California Temple has a nice staircase that I like.  Of course the Copenhagen Denmark Temple has front steps reminiscent of the Nauvoo Temple that were part of the original church the temple was made out of.  The San Antonio Texas Temple includes an impressive set of stairs going by a fountain and leading to the front door.  The Newport Beach California Temple has a front staircase.  The Sacramento California Temple also includes fine stairs on its grounds.  A long staircase leads to the Helsinki Finland Temple.

Of course there are many others that I haven't mentioned.  Please comment and tell us about exterior stairs that you like.


Travis Brinton said...

It's worth noting that the current entrances to the pioneer temples are modern additions. Originally, the architectural entrances with their grand staircases were the actual entrances that patrons used.

The stairs to the roof of the Oakland Temple are in two stairwells on the inner sides of the two wings that extend north from the main structure. You can see them on Google Maps.

Of course there are many, many temples that have exterior stairs of some kind. I don't think it would be particularly meaningful to make a more comprehensive list than this one.

Slim said...
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Slim said...

Yes Travis is right, the stairs to the roof on the Oakland Temple are on two stairwells on opposite sides of the courtyard. Your post on the Courtyards and Atrium's has a picture of the Oakland Temple courtyard. You can see where the stairwells come out on to the roof by the two small spires (the ones closest to the top of the picture).

The Oakland Temple also has a small exterior staircase that lead up to the courtyard seen in this picture
On your picture of the Oakland Temple courtyard this small exterior staircase is where the red marker 'A' is located.

Scott said...

Travis, the Salt Lake Temple has always had an annex and the large staircases have always been decorative (although they are occasionally used for couples to exit after weddings). Similar annexes were used in other temples. Although the current annexes are modern additions, they usually replaced original annex buildings.

The Manti Temple main entrance used to be on the west side where there aren't stairs. The east staircases and doors lead into the assembly hall and are/were only occasionally used.

The Logan temple main doors also weren't used as it has always had an annex (the current annex replaced the original crenelated stone annex).

The St. George Temple doors may have been the original entrances. I'm not sure on that one.

I agree that it isn't very useful to make a longer exterior staircase list; however, there are occasionally great examples and if anyone knows of them they should please comment.

Brett said...

The Hamilton NZ Temple has twin stairs leading up to the temple.