Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple

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Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple
Dedication Scheduled
The temple under construction December 2015
The temple under construction December 2015
Number 152 edit data
Dedication scheduled for 18 September 2016 (18 September 2016)
Site 1.6 acres (0.6 hectares)
Floor area 61,466 sq ft (5,710 m2)
Official websiteNews & images

Coordinates: 39°57′32.17″N 75°10′5.07″W / 39.9589361°N 75.1680750°W / 39.9589361; -75.1680750

The Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple is a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) under construction in the Logan Square neighborhood of Philadelphia. The intent to construct the temple was announced on October 4, 2008, during the church's 178th Semiannual General Conference by LDS Church president Thomas S. Monson.[2] The temple will be the first in the state of Pennsylvania, and the first temple between Washington, D.C. and New York City.[3]


Location of Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple as found on US Geological Survey map

On November 19, 2009, the church announced that the temple would be built on Vine Street in downtown Philadelphia, directly northeast of Logan Circle.[4][5][6] This location puts the planned temple in the immediate vicinity of several prominent Philadelphia landmarks, and immediately across the street from the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, head church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Ground was broken for the temple on September 17, 2011. Local community leaders were present for the ceremonies which were presided over by Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the church's First Presidency.[7][8][9][10] As of July 2012, no significant work had begun on the temple as a contractor to remove the existing parking lot and start the below ground excavation for the two level parking garage had not been found.[11] In November 2012, the Philadelphia Art Commission granted final approval for the temple design, despite some members feeling the building was too similar to other buildings in the vicinity in its appearance.[12] Most of the parking lot on the temple site had been removed by February 2013, and by May 2nd that year, the underground digging for the building of the temple had been completed. The building was framed to its full height in August 2014.[13]

Design and complex[edit]

The temple architect is B. Jeffrey Stebar of the Atlanta office of Perkins+Will, a Latter-day Saint who has served as a bishop and member of a stake presidency.[citation needed]

City and church officials announced in February 2014 that a meetinghouse and a 32-story residential building will be built on a lot adjacent to the temple site, at 1601 Vine Street. The residential structure and meetinghouse were designed by Paul L. Whalen of RAMSA. The meetinghouse will serve approximately 1,000 of the 25,000 Latter-day Saints in the Philadelphia area and will include a family history center. The residential building is anticipated to include 258 apartments and 13 townhouses, along with retail space, and be subject to regular, applicable taxes.[3]

Open house and dedication[edit]

The LDS Church announced on January 21, 2016, that a public open house is scheduled to be held from Wednesday, August 10, through Friday, September 9, 2016, excluding Sundays. A youth cultural celebration, which will recognize the heritage of the region through song, dance, and narration, is scheduled for September 17.[14] The cultural celebration will occur on the 229th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. The dedication for temple is planned for Sunday, September 18, 2016.[15]


Inga Saffron, architecture critic for The Philadelphia Inquirer, called the temple "the most radical work of architecture built in Philadelphia in a half-century ... because it dares to be so out of step with today's design sensibilities and our bottom-line culture." Estimating its cost as more than $100 million, she wrote that "The Mormon Temple is the real classical deal" and "a bold incursion into the hierarchical fabric of Philadelphia". Saffron praised the interior woodwork as "exceptional" and approved of the exterior replicating the nearby Family Court building, "the last truly satisfying neoclassical design". She criticized the decision to put the front door on 17th Street, stating that the temple "turns its back on Logan Square. It occupies this important civic space without being a real participant". Saffron also disliked the design of the LDS chapel next door, describing the Robert A. M. Stern-designed building as "strange ... a squashed cupcake with a giant candle stuck on top", with a "baffling" drainage ditch on Vine Street.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mikita, Carole (October 4, 2008), LDS Church plans temples in Rome, 4 other locations,, retrieved 2012-11-05 
  2. ^ Dougherty, James M (October 4, 2008), "Rome LDS temple, four others announced", Deseret News, retrieved 2012-11-05 
  3. ^ a b McCrystal, Laura (14 February 2014). "Mormons to build 32-story tower near Center City". Retrieved 10 January 2016. 
  4. ^ "Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple Site Announced", News Story, LDS Church, November 19, 2009, retrieved 2012-11-05 
  5. ^ Askar, Jamshid (Nov 27, 2009), "Downtown site for Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple", Church News, retrieved 2012-11-05 
  6. ^ Swensen, Jason (December 11, 2010), "Church buys land for Philadelphia temple", Church News, retrieved 2012-11-05 
  7. ^ "Church Breaks Ground for Philadelphia Pennsylvania, Trujillo Peru Temples", News Release, LDS Church, September 17, 2011, retrieved 2012-11-05 
  8. ^ O'Reilly, David (September 18, 2011), "Construction to begin on Philadelphia's Mormon temple", Philadelphia Inquirer, retrieved 2012-11-05 .
  9. ^ Rosenlof, Celeste Tholen (September 18, 2011), LDS Church breaks ground for first temple in Pennsylvania,, retrieved 2012-11-05 
  10. ^ Sowby, Laurie Williams (September 20, 2011), "President Eyring returns home for Philadelphia Temple groundbreaking", Church News, retrieved 2012-11-05 
  11. ^ "Fall groundbreaking expected for Philadelphia's Mormon temple" David O'Reilly, Philadelphia Inquirer, July 26, 2012
  12. ^ Plan Philly, Nov. 8, 2012
  13. ^ August 23, 2014 LDS Church News article on progress on the Philadelphia Temple
  14. ^ "Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple". Retrieved 5/26/16.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  15. ^ "The First Presidency Announces Open House and Dedication Dates for Three Temples: Temples to open in Sapporo, Japan, Freiberg, Germany, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania", Newsroom, LDS Church, 2016-01-21 
  16. ^ Saffron, Inga (2016-08-02). "Changing Skyline: Mormon Temple: Radical conservative upstart". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2 August 2016. 

External links[edit]