Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Newly Remodeled Ogden Temple - Part II - The Desert Blossoming as a Rose

Stained Glass in Ogden Utah Temple with Desert Rose
This week I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Ogden Temple open house.  During my last post I discussed a few architectural features that relate to the original building.  Now I am going discuss some of my other impressions.

The main themes of this temple are the desert rose (pioneer rose), grass blades, a weave pattern (from the original temple) and a sunburst design.

The desert rose design is meant to remind us of the pioneers (it is also called the pioneer rose) and the scripture where Isaiah says the desert would blossom as a rose.  I like that the designers didn't just use any flower to decorate the temple, but chose one with symbolism.  I noticed that the roses in the glass, etc. have thorns.  It may seem odd to include depictions of thorns in the temple; however, they made me think of several things.  My first thought was of the crown of thorns placed on Jesus Christ's head just before his crucifixion.  Then I thought of the message to Adam and Eve as they were expelled from the Garden of Eden that part of the curse was thorns and thistles.  Since much of the temple is related to exploring the fall, how it relates to us, etc., having thorns present actually works in the temple.  The thorns also make me think about trials and the rose flowers at the top can be symbolic of blessings we receive with our trials.

I didn't really notice the grass design, but grass is very subtle, so that isn't too surprising.  I suppose grass could relate to the pioneers, since most of the valleys the pioneers settled were mainly filled with grass when the pioneers arrived.  I could discuss scriptural links, but honestly I haven't spent much time pondering them yet.

I like how these themes were used in the remodeled Ogden Utah Temple.  The stained glass, wall carvings, gold leaf, stone work, etc. were all beautiful.

Ogden Temple Sealing Room Chandelier Detail
Another thing I loved about the temple was all the art deco styling.  Ogden has a great variety of architecture.  Many buildings have art deco styling.  Because of this, the temple's art deco elements work really well.  Art deco is one of my favorite architectural styles, so I probably would have liked these elements either way, but knowing that they fit in is nice too.

Ogden Temple Torchiere
Probably my favorite art deco element of the temple is the chandeliers and the torchieres (these are like chandelier floor lamps - they are really cool).  They are full of crystals, many contained in a really decorative metal cage (I assume brass).  The lights are really interesting.  There is a cluster of crystals and lights at the top of the chandelier/torchiere and another larger set of crystals and lights towards the bottom.

Sealing Room Chandelier
The sealing room chandeliers also have 4 side clusters of lights that are impressive.  I like how the lights show a progression with more ornate versions of the lights in rooms used for higher ordinances.

The temple also has a lot of incredible carved details such as woodwork and stone, much of it hand-carved.  The woodwork is exceptional.  On the main floor, and somewhat elsewhere, there are carved wood capitals on the columns.  They have an interesting design that is also echoed in stone carving.  In some cases, such as at the recommend desk, the square dots on the capital are echoed in the stonework.  Elsewhere there are more elaborate stone details on capitals, etc., but more on that later.

Ogden Temple Column Capital
One detail I loved was that the dark wood furniture on the main level had a matching detail carved into it which was left stained light.  This means that much of the furniture in this temple is custom built to match the built in details.  In the ordinance rooms, a pattern is carved into the woodwork on the altars that matches a detail from the temple before it was remodeled (see my first post on the remodeled Ogden Temple).  This detail is also carved into the woodwork at the end of each row of seating in the ordinance rooms.  As I discussed in my previous post, I like that how this design connects the seats to the altars, symbolically making it like you are always at the altar.  There is also a pattern carved into the celestial room table woodwork.

Ogden Temple Sealing Room Carved Stone Detail
Even more detailed versions of the carved column capitals are found in the celestial room and the sealing rooms.  I think these are the most impressive stonework detail in the temple.  Here they are hand carved stone.  According to press releases, the Ogden Temple now has more stonework than any other temple (which seems incredible, considering the pioneer temples are made of stone).  I'm not sure if the press releases just mean the finished stonework inside or something else.  I find the hand carved stone column capitals in the sealing rooms to be the most impressive stone detail.  There is also a design detail from the original temple etched into the altars.  This detail is also carved into some pilasters in the endowment rooms, etc. You can read my previous post to find out more.

There is so much more that is great about the remodeled Ogden Temple.  The new art glass is incredible.  Stained glass is used extensively in the temple.  In many locations it has simple geometric patterns, but it often contains the desert rose pattern, grass patterns, etc., and is very beautiful.  The numerous windows make this a very bright temple.  The ordinance rooms have stained glass on their ceilings and the two largest endowment rooms have large stained glass windows along the back walls.  The Celestial room has a large art glass dome in the center.  One great improvement over the original temple is that now some of the sealing rooms have windows to the outside letting in natural light.  I love what the church has done with glass in this temple.

I could go on and on, but perhaps if I stop now I will be motivated to write another post about this temple.  I am very impressed with what has been done with it.


Brian said...

I wonder if by stone work they are referring to stone that has been carved decoratively, as opposed to just being cut to shape? That would make Ogden the temple with the most stonework to date. Especially since many of the most recent temples are precast concrete and not carved stone.

Brian J said...

I cannot afford a trip to Utah so I have to ask a few questions.
Does this temple now have a grand staircase? I never went to Ogden, but I never liked the escalators in the Provo temple and don't like the escalators in the Seattle temple.
Are the instruction rooms stationary or progressive?
If progressive, what are the murals like in the first instruction room?

Scott said...

There are staircases on the north and south sides of the temple. The staircases themselves aren't particularly interesting, but they do go in front of stained glass windows, so the view is great. Both Ogden and Provo had their escalators replaced with staircases.
The ordinance rooms are stationary. They don't have murals, but the baptistery and lobby have murals. The lobby's mural is of Christ and Peter, James, and John on the Mount of Transfiguration with Moses and Elijah.

Chad said...

To Brian J. From my tour through the temple I picked up that YES, there is a grand staircase (possibly two?). Scott said they weren't particularly interesting I strongly disagree. I think the grand stair case was one of my favorite parts of the temple. It's beautiful. I'm quite sure the rooms are now A-B, not stationary. We saw two different rooms, one with a screen in front of a wall and one with the Veil. The Ogden Temple is absolutely beautiful.

Scott said...

I didn't find the staircase particularly interesting compared to other staircases as it was a single run; however, it does go in front of the stained glass windows. It was nice and I am glad you liked the staircases. Maybe I need to see them again.
I have talked to people involved with the temple remodel and they confirmed that the endowment rooms are stationary.

David said...

The rooms are stationary. The large rooms have a stone-clad wall at the front, which is raised up.

Henry von Rintelen said...

I wish I lived in The West so I could visit all the LDS architecture. But I live In Western PA and all we have is Frank Lloyd Wright.

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