This is another installment in my LDS Temple staircase series of posts. Today I want to show some grand staircases.
I'll start with the Salt Lake Temple where the endowment ceremony uses the grand staircase well. You see it before entering the creation room. When you leave the garden room you step onto the staircase, already a few steps up it on a small landing. This emphasizes our choice in this fallen world, to ascend, or to fall further. You then go up the staircase and get a brief view of the celestial room doors before turning and entering the world room. The staircase itself is nicely built with fine woodwork. Unfortunately, you can see from the three pictures below that at some point they have painted over the fine woodwork of the posts and part of the rail. This is a shame as it was really fine handcrafted pioneer woodwork. You paint cheap wood to make it look good. You should never paint fine woodwork as it makes it cheaper. Hopefully at some point someone will have the presence of mind to have the paint stripped off and the original beautiful wood restored.
The next grand staircase is found in the Mesa Arizona Temple where the endowment rooms were built with the staircase in mind so you climb it during the ceremony. As you can see in the picture, the celestial room doors are at the top with the scripture "The Glory of God is Intelligence" written above them. There is also a large mural of Joseph Smith preaching to the Lamanites (Native Americans in this case). I also notice the fine stone or tile lining the sides of the staircase.
The Hamilton New Zealand Temple (below left) and Kyiv Ukraine Temple (below right) have similar main staircases seen in the picture below. A similar staircase is in the London England Temple and I would guess the Bern Switzerland Temple as well. I really like how the Kyiv Ukraine Temple staircase brings you close to the fine stained glass windows and particularly the interesting elliptical windows.
The new Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple contains a double grand staircase in its center seen below. The staircase has fine custom made brass railings and a stunning chandelier. Light from both the celestial room and the chapel is carried into the heart of the temple where the staircase sits through glass walls. Several temples use the same floor plan as this temple. I've been to both the Boston Massachusetts Temple and the Preston England Temple and each has a single grand staircase in its center. I recall Preston going up, reaching a certain level, and then splitting into two staircases perpendicular to the first (although it has been almost a decade since I was there last). The Boston Temple is a very similar temple. In Boston, the staircase starts as two curved staircases that meet midway up and continue as a single staircase. In plan it would resemble a wishbone. If you don't go on the staircase you can instead walk between the two and go to other parts of the temple.
The San Diego California Temple features a large, open-center, spiral grand staircase that can be seen below. It occupies one of the towers and provides a great view up into the tower and good views of the art glass windows.
A lot of the newer small style temples include grand staircases. Below from left to right are pictures of the staircases in the Curitiba Brazil Temple, Vancouver B.C. Canada Temple, and Panama City Panama Temple. A similar staircase is found in the Twin Falls Idaho Temple. I like the shape and general look of these staircases and am glad that even these very small temples can have nice grand staircases.
I'm sure there are other grand staircases in temples. Please comment and tell us about them. I learned at one point that grand staircases, particularly interesting ones such as spirals, were used in buildings to show the skill of those that built them and to make a place special. Sure, a simple, ordinary staircase would have got people between floors, but a grand staircase, especially a complex one, said that the place was special enough to spend the money, time, and skill necessary to build such a staircase. The House of the Lord is a special place and one way we can make it holy and honored and special for HIM is by including grand staircases.