Harrison New York Temple

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Harrison New York Temple
Efforts suspended
24-acre temple location site
24-acre temple location site
edit data
Floor area 28,400 sq ft (2,640 m2)
News & images

Coordinates: 41°0′45.88″N 73°42′49.58″W / 41.0127444°N 73.7137722°W / 41.0127444; -73.7137722 The Harrison New York Temple, previously known as the White Plains New York Temple, was a planned temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) that was to be constructed in Harrison, New York. Construction of the temple was to take place on a 24-acre site purchased by the LDS Church at the intersection of Interstate 287 and Hutchinson River Parkway. Reportedly, efforts had been underway until 2004, but construction was never started and eventually suspended. After delays by lawsuits and objections by local officials,[4] this temple was removed from the list on the LDS Church's official temple website soon after the dedication of the Manhattan New York Temple. Any decision to build a temple on this site would constitute a new announcement.


On Saturday, October 3, 1992 during the afternoon session of the church’s 162nd Semiannual general conference, Gordon B. Hinckley, at the time First Counselor in the First Presidency, announced plans for the Hartford Connecticut Temple.[5] However, three years later, plans for this temple were replaced with plans for the Boston Massachusetts Temple and the White Plains New York Temple[6] (later to be renamed the Harrison New York Temple[7]).

Lot purchase[edit]

On March 8, 1996, the LDS Church purchased a 24-acre site for the temple at the intersection of Interstate 287 and Hutchinson River Parkway.[8] The location of the site in Harrison was reflected in a name change, renaming the White Plains New York Temple as the Harrison New York Temple.[7] The name change was made during a major renaming of many of the church's temples to a uniform guidelines in October 1999.[7]

Legal issues[edit]

Plans for a 44-foot-high temple, came before the Harrison Zoning Board of Appeals on Thursday, September 28, 2000. The temple's height required the LDS Church to apply for a variance to the 30-foot height limit. In a 5-2 vote, the Board denied the variance.[9]

On March 10, 2001, New York State Supreme Court Justice Peter Leavitt overturned the decision of the Harrison Board of Appeals and ordered a variance to be issued to allow construction of the temple. The Board countered by filing its own appeal.[10] Despite the pending lawsuit, the LDS Church attended a public meeting with the Harrison Town Board on June 11, 2001. The LDS Church requested a special exception permit, which specified how the temple would be used. Overwhelming opposition was expressed by neighbors, including concerns over traffic, size of the building, height of the steeple, and nighttime flood lighting of the exterior.[11]

This meeting started eight months of negotiations between the LDS Church and residents. This included public hearings, four traffic studies, and environmental reports. Having exhausted any administrative options, the church filed suit on December 17, 2001, accusing the town of infringing on freedom of religion and assembly.[12]

On April 30, 2002, members of the Harrison Town Board then voted unanimously to approve a proposed settlement with the church. It appeared that the town would likely lose in court and spend millions of dollars if legal action were pursued. The agreement resulted in numerous concessions by the church. This included, but was not limited to, reducing the building size, height and capacity.[13]

Plans suspended[edit]

The seven-year dispute contributed to the decision by the church to build the Manhattan New York Temple inside an existing church-owned building. The church had not indicated how the opening of the temple in Manhattan would affect the temple in Harrison. James Staudt, a White Plains lawyer representing the church said "It will be built." He explained that the church was working to connect the property to a sewer line[14] and that, once completed, the church would move on to the next phase of construction.[14]

However, by 2006, after the temple opened in Manhattan, work at the Harrison site stopped and the Harrison New York Temple was removed from the church's official list of announced temples.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Temples Renamed to Uniform Guidelines". Church News. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. October 16, 1999. Retrieved July 5, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Report of the 162nd Semiannual General Conference". LDS.org. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. November 1992. Retrieved July 25, 2007. 
  3. ^ According to a Deseret News article about the Manhattan Temple."N.Y. Temple to Get Spire". Deseret News. Salt Lake City: Deseret Management Corporation. June 10, 2004. Retrieved October 19, 2007. 
  4. ^ According to a Deseret News Article about the Manhattan Temple."N.Y. Temple to Get Spire". June 10, 2004. Retrieved October 19, 2007. 
  5. ^ "Church News: Plans are announced for 3 more temples". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. October 2, 1992. Retrieved June 30, 2011. 
  6. ^ "2 temples to be built in eastern U.S." The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. October 7, 1995. Retrieved June 30, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (October 16, 1999), "Temples renamed to uniform guidelines", Church News, Deseret News Publishing Company, retrieved July 5, 2011 
  8. ^ Costello, Ann (April 25, 1996), Mormons Pick Harrison as Site for Temple, The New York Times, retrieved August 12, 2011 
  9. ^ The Associated Press (September 2000), New York city board rejects 'tall' LDS temple, HARRISON, N.Y: Deseret News, p. A7, retrieved August 12, 2011 
  10. ^ Kent Larsen, "Newsflash: Harrison Temple Gets Judge's Blessing," Mormon News March 10, 2001, April 6, 2008
  11. ^ Kent Larsen, "Town Meeting Highlights Neighbor Feelings Over Harrison Temple," Mormon News August 6, 2001, April 6, 2008
  12. ^ Associated Press, "Church sues N.Y. town over temple size limit," Deseret Morning News December 29, 2001: E2.
  13. ^ Karen Pasternack, "Harrison feared losing to Mormons in court" The Journal News May 1, 2002, April 6, 2008.
  14. ^ a b Gary Stern, 'Harrison temple on Mormons' agenda," The Journal News January 20, 2004, April 6, 2008