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Washington DC Temple renovation generating media coverage for anticipated open house still two years away

The LDS Church's Washington D.C. Temple is currently undergoing an extensive renovation. Recent media coverage demonstrates interest in an open house with public tours that is still roughly two years away. Residents and media anticipate a sneak peek inside the temple they have often seen towering above the trees along the Capital Beltway, Interstate 495.

Several news organizations in the Washington, D.C., area recently provided updates on the temple's progress, including comments from an architect and an Area Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Roger Hansen, a project architect from CRSA Architecture in Utah, described some of the renovations to

“What we’re doing is we’re coming in to the building and we’re upgrading in significant ways,” Hansen said. “Many of the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, and many of the finishes throughout the building have reached their end of life.”

Hansen also spoke with, another news outlet, about the need to preserve the best parts of the original design.

“Our task is to embrace the great things that they did [when the building was built],” Hansen said. “But with a 40-year-old building that hasn’t ever had a major renovation, now is the time, and an opportunity for us.”

In the same article, Elder Kevin Calderwood, an Area Seventy for the LDS Church, said the Washington D.C. Temple has been a landmark in Montgomery County for drivers along Interstate 495 since it opened in 1974.

“You see it almost floating above the trees, and so certainly we see it as iconic from that standpoint,” said Elder Kevin Calderwood, one of the leaders of the church. “But for us it’s more sacred; it’s a sacred place where we can participate in ordinances that bind our family together.”

A video produced by shows footage of the grounds and Washington D.C. Visitors Center.

The LDS Church announced the Washington D.C. and Oakland temples would be closed for renovations in March. The Washington D.C. Temple will likely be completed in 2020, followed by an open house and rededication, according to the LDS Church News.

President John D. Jackson, president of the Annapolis Maryland Stake, told the LDS Church News that members would miss the opportunity to attend the Washington D.C. Temple during the renovation.

“The Washington D.C. Temple has become such an important landmark in the D.C. area — we [are going to] miss it,” he said.

The Washington D.C. Temple is one of several older LDS temples undergoing renovations, the Deseret News reported.

For the past 40 years, hundreds have gathered at the temple grounds after each Thanksgiving holiday to participate in the annual Festival of Lights ceremony. Last year Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was present to turn on the Christmas lights, the LDS Church News reported.

In 2015, a small-scale model showing the interior the Washington D.C. Temple was unveiled in the Visitors Center, the LDS Church News reported.

In 2014, Tony Collins posted a YouTube video with drone flight footage showing stunning aerial views of the Washington D.C. Temple grounds.