Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Oakland California Temple Tree of Life Motif

The Tree of Life is used as a symbol on many LDS temples.  Sometimes the tree is realistically depicted.  Other times a stylized version of the Tree of Life is used.  The Oakland California Temple uses a stylized version of the Tree of Life that I really like.  I have found this symbol in two prominent locations.

Each of the five towers of the Oakland Temple have the stylized Tree of Life pattern running up the middle of each of their four sides.  Pictures of this are found in the following links: 1, 2, 3.

The same stylized version of the Tree of Life is found on the temple doors.  You can see a picture of them here.

I like this symbol and especially this particular stylized version of it. 


Brian said...

Perhaps you can answer this: I was told that when the Oakland Temple was dedicated it had a flowing water theme. It started with a waterfall coming down the front between the two rows of decorative carving just below the garden area, then flowing over where the scripture inscription is now in the courtyard. It was then carried by a reflecting pool that is now the flowerbed in the courtyard, then to the stream that is still there now.

P.S.: sorry about commenting on nearly every post, but I do love the temples, and am a huge fan of this blog.

Scott said...

I like getting comments so don't worry. I don't know about the waterfall theme

Anonymous said...

I'm familiar with the original water feature at the Oakland Temple. I don't know if I'd go so far as to say that the Temple had a flowing water theme, but it did have some additional water features that have since been removed.

A waterfall originally came off of the terrace roof and flowed over the area where the scriptural plaque is now. From here the water flowed into the half-circle basins, which still exist, and then into a large reflecting pool that covered most of the courtyard space. In the reflecting pool were 8 light poles, almost identical to the poles in the water "creek" in front of the Laie Hawaii Temple (same architect).

Although this probably gave the illusion that it continued to the fountains and creek on the grounds in front of the Temple (which are all original), it was actually a separate system. The waterfall/reflecting pool system was removed only 3-4 years after the Temple was dedicated because of ongoing leaking problems that were starting to damage the Temple.

Going from the precedence being set at other Temples, meaning restoration efforts to put them back in their original state, I would suspect that someday at least part or all of this water feature will be restored. The current flowerbeds are beautiful, but I'm sure the waterfall/reflecting pool was very striking.

Ryan said...

Every time I visit the oaklabd temple I'm amazed at it's beauty and beautiful setting, but consistently wish the waterfall was there. I hope that is replaced sooner than later. We seem to have it figured out with the conference center and I believe another temple or two have waterfall features on the structure.

Matt said...

the same theme was used on the Honolulu Tabernacle also by Harold Burton. You can find this same tree motif inside the Oakland Temple in the chapel.


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Ron Keaton said...

The waterfall was removed a few years after the temple was first opened. I was too young to see it. It had a leak and kept wetting the carpet inside near the Large Brass Doors.

I worked on the last remodel in 2014 upgrading the fire alarm and doing some light electrical. What a great experience!

The waterfall on the front of the Temple was rebuilt. A Pool specialist was hired to seal the area so we don't get any problems this time. An automated system was installed to control water level and stop the flow in case of high winds.

Hope it is enjoyed by everyone who comes to see The House of The Lord!

Lance Pitman said...

Would you be able to post some photos of the restored waterfall in the courtyard, please? I haven't found any current photos of it, and I'd love to see it!