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Keep Provo Temple as is

Published April 13, 2012 1:01 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I was at an Easter party in Provo, and the renovation of the burned Provo Tabernacle into an LDS temple came up.

Everyone assumed that when it's finished, the current Provo Temple will be drastically renovated so that it won't look like the late-'60s "birthday cake" building that many once thought was stupid and now think is quaint, even historic. The Provo Temple's twin in Ogden is getting such a makeover.

I never liked the temple's look, but at 40 years old, it's part of our history and should be kept as an example of mid-20th-century LDS architecture.

"Preservation is not simply about saving the most beautiful things," Columbia University's architecture school dean Mark Wigley told the The New York Times in a report on the debate to save half-century-old "ugly" modernist buildings. "It's about saving those objects that are an important part of our history and whose value is always going to be a subject of debate."

"You have to focus on the significance of the building and not its style, because styles will come and go," said John Hildreth of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Mormonism has a sense of history, and temples are its significant buildings.

Michael Smith

Salt Lake City




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