It’s been one year since The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints launched its major renovation and seismic upgrade of the Salt Lake Temple.

The project is expected to last four years.

According to, crews have completed the following tasks in the last 12 months:

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Gone are the green grass and trees, replaced by a construction zone. Here is an aerial view of the Salt Lake Temple taken in April 2019:

Temple Square and downtown Salt Lake City on Thursday, April 18, 2019. | Steve Griffin, Deseret News

Here is another view of the temple grounds in December 2020.

An aerial view of the Salt Lake Temple in December 2020. |

Construction updates for November and December were recently posted on


Construction crews used tension rod coring to strengthen the temple’s foundation. The process involved drilling into the footings at different angles and inserting a threading rod in gout. The rod is then tensioned to create pressure against the stones, thus helping consolidate the footings, the Nov. 6 report said.

Workers strengthened the Salt Lake Temple’s foundation using tension rod coring. |

Workers dismantled a part of the temple’s foundation added in 1960 to prepare for future drilling.

To prepare for an excavation that will be 60 feet deep, steel columns weighing 20,000 pounds and measuring 83 feet long will be inserted into the ground as part of building a retaining wall on the north side of the temple.

Workers have added support to the southeast historic steps leading to the doors of the Salt Lake Temple. |

Workers secured the historic steps leading up to the temple’s southeast doors.

A new roadway for truck access on the west side of the temple was completed.

Crews began installing scaffolding on the south side of the temple to repair stones and provide access to different floors. Scaffolding will eventually surround the exterior walls and towers of the temple.

Scaffolding will eventually surround all the exterior walls and towers of the Salt Lake Temple. |

In preparation for the construction of new temple facilities, excavation continues on the north side of the temple.


On Dec. 9, workers removed a concrete overlay from the previous foundation on the west side of the temple to prepare for future foundation consolidation and strengthening work.

Workers removed a concrete overlay from the previous foundation to prepare for future foundation in December 2020. |

More scaffolding was installed on the south side of the temple.

Debris from the southeast corner excavation has been removed, much of which will be recycled.

Progress on the project

The church revealed Salt Lake Temple renovation details for the four-year project in April 2019.

The temple closed on Dec. 29, 2019, and work began the next day.

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The temple was decommissioned, “an extensive and careful transition process for preparing a sacred structure for construction” last January.

Two months after an earthquake dislodged his trumpet, a massive crane lifted the damaged Angel Moroni statue off the top tower of the historic Salt Lake Temple in May.

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Later that month, the First Presidency donned masks and examined items removed from a time capsule inside the Salt Lake Temple capstone.

The temple’s pioneer foundation was unearthed before October general conference. The extensive underground renovations told the story of the temple’s history.

Because of the ongoing construction, public access to Temple Square was closed during the Christmas season, but lights were still viewable from roads and sidewalks. Missionaries serving at Temple Square also offered virtual tours.

Watch for future updates on the project.

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