Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple

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Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple
East and south facades in July 2016
East and south facades in July 2016
Number 152 edit data
Dedication 18 September 2016 (18 September 2016) by
Henry B. Eyring[1]
Site 1.6 acres (0.6 hectares)
Floor area 61,466 sq ft (5,710 m2)
Preceded by Sapporo Japan Temple
Followed by Fort Collins Colorado Temple
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) in the Logan Square neighborhood of Philadelphia. Completed in 2016, 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.[3] The temple is the church's first in the state of Pennsylvania, and the first temple between Washington, D.C. and New York City.[4]


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.[5][6][7] This location places the 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.[8][9][10][11] By July 2012, no significant work had begun on the temple as a contractor had not been found to remove the existing parking lot and start the below ground excavation for the two-level parking garage.[12] 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.[13] Most of the parking lot on the temple site had been removed by February 2013, and by May 2 that year, the underground digging for the building of the temple had been completed. The building was framed to its full height by August 2014.[14]

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.[4]

Open house and dedication[edit]

A public open house was held from August 10 through September 9, 2016, excluding Sundays. According to the church, approximately 140,000 visitors attended the open house.[1] A youth cultural celebration, which recognized the heritage of the region through song, dance, and narration, was held on September 17.[15][16] Like the groundbreaking in 2011, the cultural celebration occurred on the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. The temple was formally dedicated by Eyring on September 18, 2016.[1][17]


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.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Weaver, Sarah Jane (18 September 2016). "President Eyring dedicates temple in Philadelphia, the place 'where so much began'". Deseret News. 
  2. ^ Mikita, Carole (October 4, 2008), LDS Church plans temples in Rome, 4 other locations,, retrieved 2012-11-05 
  3. ^ Dougherty, James M (October 4, 2008), "Rome LDS temple, four others announced", Deseret News, retrieved 2012-11-05 
  4. ^ a b McCrystal, Laura (14 February 2014). "Mormons to build 32-story tower near Center City". Retrieved 10 January 2016. 
  5. ^ "Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple Site Announced", News Story, LDS Church, November 19, 2009, retrieved 2012-11-05 
  6. ^ Askar, Jamshid (Nov 27, 2009), "Downtown site for Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple", Church News, retrieved 2012-11-05 
  7. ^ Swensen, Jason (December 11, 2010), "Church buys land for Philadelphia temple", Church News, retrieved 2012-11-05 
  8. ^ "Church Breaks Ground for Philadelphia Pennsylvania, Trujillo Peru Temples", News Release, LDS Church, September 17, 2011, retrieved 2012-11-05 
  9. ^ O'Reilly, David (September 18, 2011), "Construction to begin on Philadelphia's Mormon temple", The Philadelphia Inquirer, retrieved 2012-11-05 .
  10. ^ Rosenlof, Celeste Tholen (September 18, 2011), LDS Church breaks ground for first temple in Pennsylvania,, retrieved 2012-11-05 
  11. ^ Sowby, Laurie Williams (September 20, 2011), "President Eyring returns home for Philadelphia Temple groundbreaking", Church News, retrieved 2012-11-05 
  12. ^ "Fall groundbreaking expected for Philadelphia's Mormon temple" David O'Reilly, The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 26, 2012
  13. ^ Plan Philly, Nov. 8, 2012
  14. ^ August 23, 2014 LDS Church News article on progress on the Philadelphia Temple
  15. ^ "Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple". Retrieved 5/26/16.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  16. ^ "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 
  17. ^ "Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple Is Dedicated as Church’s 152nd: President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency dedicates", Newsroom, LDS Church, 2016-09-18 
  18. ^ Saffron, Inga (2016-08-02). "Changing Skyline: Mormon Temple: Radical conservative upstart". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2 August 2016. 

External links[edit]