|Orig. 1884 Salt Lake Temple Spire Sections|
The London England Temple has a metal spire. You can see a photo here. The spire is the most detailed portion of the temple's exterior and I like it. I also served my mission in London so I'm biased. According to ldschurchtemples.com
The original design of the London England Temple called for a spire of perforated aluminum, similar in appearance to the spires of the Oakland California Temple. The perforations were later removed from the design, however, in favor of a solid sheath of lead-coated copper.The Oakland California Temple has five perforated gold colored spires. They are apparently not metal, byt rather reinforced concrete that is painted to look like metal. I've read that the oriental look of the spires is not a coincidence, but rather was used because of the large number of Asian Americans in California and particularly the Bay Area. You can see pictures of the spires here and here and here. I love their complexity. I also love how the lattice structure lets the spires glow.
The Ogden and Provo Temples were the next to have metal spires. Theirs were originally an orange gold color seen here and here. They were meant to represent the pillar of fire by night that led the Israelites from Egypt. The upper floors of the temple just below the spire was supposed to represent the cloud that led the Israelites by day. This is neat symbolism with, in my opinion, horrible execution. The temples ended up resembling rocket ships, birthday cakes, and other unintended things. In the 2000s each temple had a statue of the Angel Moroni added (which was actually in the original plans, so we shouldn't think that destroyed the architectural vision of these temples). At the same time, the spires were painted white, covering the original metal.
Next, the Washington D.C. Temple was built with 6 pointy metal spires. Their length makes this temple the tallest temple. The spires are made of steel overlaid with gold leaf. Each spire has a lot more detail than you usually notice.
The Sao Paulo Brazil Temple was the next temple with a metal spire. Originally the temple lacked an Angel Moroni statue, but made up for this with a detailed spire.
I think the Tokyo Japan Temple spire is metal. The Stockholm Sweden Temple and Frankfurt Germany Temple also used metal on their spires. Many have since used some metal in the spires.
The Houston Texas Temple uses a lot of copper to cover its prominent spire. I really like the style of this temple and feel that the weathered copper gives the modern classical architecture a dignified, mature look.
The Boston Massachusetts Temple was originally completed without a tower due to a lawsuit. A few months after its dedication, a tower clad in metal was added to the temple. I like the design. It is modern, yet fits in with the New England architecture, partially due to the metal spire.
The Helsinki Finland Temple features a metal spire for the tower and a metal dome over the celestial room.
|Orig. Oquirrh Mountain Temple Plan With a Copper Spire|
A few temples have metal domes. The Nauvoo Illinois Temple has a metal tower dome. I think the Manti Temple towers are clad in metal, but they may use shingles. The Vernal Utah Temple has two copper domes. The Newport Beach California also has two copper domes, one on the tower, the other above the celestial room.
Other temples have some metal cladding. The Cochabamba Bolivia Temple was metal on top of its central and 4 side towers. The Las Vegas Nevada Temple has a copper roof. Other temples have metal used here and there.
I like metal spires, towers, and domes on temples. They haven't been used as often as stone or fiberglass or painted spires. That makes them unique and interesting. Metal brings a certain dignity to these temples. There are a wide variety of uses with numerous metals to choose from. Different styles can and have been used such as perforating the metal, adding etchings, adding a textured pattern, using a smooth metal surface, using several metals, etc. Metals can retain an untarnished glory or be allowed to develop a dignified patina. The possibilities are great and so I expect to continue seeing metal temple spires, domes, and towers. That is a good thing.
Please comment and let us know what you think.