October 13, 2014
From AZ Central http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2014/10/09/phoenix-mormon-temple-open-public-tours/16954309/
By Sophia Kunthara
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Phoenix temple will open to the public on Friday, allowing members of the community to tour the sacred space before it is dedicated in November.
The temple, 5220 W. Pinnacle Peak Road, is the fifth in Arizona. A new temple in Gilbert was dedicated in March and plans for a sixth one, in Tucson, have been announced.
The single-story building sits on a little more than 5 acres and covers 27,423 square feet with a full basement and an 89-foot-tall spire.
It will serve the 60,000 church members in the area.
The design process began in August 2008, soon after the church chose CCBG Architects to design the temple, said Scott Walker, the lead architect.
Norris Design worked closely with the church to develop the landscape architecture plan as well as develop 3D renderings of the proposed site and building.
Beautifully designed, the interior of the temple is serene and stunning, with murals of Jesus and desert landscape adorning the walls and brilliant chandeliers fixed on the ceiling.
The basement of the temple houses the baptistry.
Elliptical in shape and partially encased in glass, the baptistry contains a baptismal font resting on the backs of 12 oxen, which represent the 12 tribes of Israel.
The temple also includes instruction rooms, four sealing rooms where marriages occur and a bride and groom are "sealed" for all eternity, and a celestial room.
Perhaps the most lovely of all the rooms, the celestial room represents what it would feel like to be with God, said Jennifer Wheeler, a public-affairs specialist for the temple.
Elder Kent Richards, the executive director of the church's temple department, said the temple was designed to fit in with the Phoenix area so members of the community who were not Mormon could appreciate it.
The temple is open to the public for free tours from Friday to Nov. 1, excluding Sundays. Reservations are required and can be made at mormontemples.org/phoenix.
More than 400,000 community members toured the Gilbert temple when it opened in the spring, and the church is expecting thousands to tour the Phoenix location before it is dedicated.
Church membership in Arizona:
The Phoenix Temple will be the Church's 144th operating temple in the world and the fifth in Arizona. Other temples include Mesa, Snowflake, Gila Valley and Gilbert. The church has announced another temple to be built in Tucson.
May 24, 2008.
June 4, 2011.
The 27,423-square-foot temple sits on a 5.19-acre property.
One story with a full basement.
The temple follows a regional deco style, drawing inspiration from aloe stalk and blossom and desert tree leaves. The temple is earth-toned with terracotta and turquoise embellishments. Interior stones include marble and granite and the wood is sapele from Africa. Murals from Keith Bond and chandeliers from Schonbeck lighting decorate the interior.
CCBG Architects Inc., Phoenix.
Landscape Architects: Norris Design
Porter Bros. Construction, Gilbert.
Construction of the temple added 200 parking spots to the existing 193 parking spots at the church's meeting house, increasing parking to nearly 400 spaces.
Public open house:
The public is invited to the temple's open house from Friday, Oct. 10, to Saturday, Nov. 1, excluding Sundays. The open house is free, but reservations are required. Reservations can be made at https://templeopenhouse.lds.org/tickets;jsessionid=FA3802EF8B0E9B2721A4A846004B2069.
The cultural celebration will be Wednesday, Nov. 15, the day before the temple is dedicated.
Sunday, Nov. 16