Sunday, August 5, 2018

Logan Fifth Ward: Interior

Upon entering the building from its corner, members come into a octagonal lobby. The cultural hall is on the left, while the chapel is on the right, visible through windows.


Looking back toward the entrance:


The chapel originally had windows lining both sides, but the windows on the west side were covered during an addition.


Sunday, July 29, 2018

Logan Fifth Ward

Built in 1938, the Logan Fifth Ward was designed for the unusual corner lot upon which it was built.

(Image Source: Church History Library)

The building has had some additions, but the basic floor plan remains. An octagonal lobby in the corner provides access to the chapel on the right (running north-south) and the cultural hall on the left (running east-west). We'll take a look at the interior of this building in our next post.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Huntington Park Ward

Located just southeast of downtown LA, Huntington Park has a lovely chapel--sometimes called a tabernacle--that has been fairly well preserved.

(Image Source: Church History Library)
 It was built in 1926, designed by Lawrence Nowell.


I was pretty disappointed that I wasn't able to get inside, but I took some nice pictures of architectural details on the exterior that I'll highlight.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

A History of LDS Temple Architecture: Part 5 - "Bring the Rooms to the People"

Note: This is Part 5 in a series on the history of the development of LDS temple architecture. This series is based on my personal research and is a looser, less detailed, and less formal version of a paper that was presented at the 2015 BYU Religious Education Student Symposium. For a complete list of posts in this series, click here.

The use of a tape recording in the Los Angeles Temple, when it was first constructed, suggested that Church leadership was willing to make radical changes to the manner in which the endowment was presented in order to improve its efficiency and adaptability. It appears that the traditional temple architecture, which was highly symbolic of progression, was the first casualty as they contemplated these changes.

Los Angeles Creation Room Mural

This is confusing, because the Los Angeles Temple ended up being completed after the Swiss Temple. So as the Church leadership actively decided to change the architecture of the temple, another grand example of progressive architecture was being completed on a huge scale in Los Angeles. (All Los Angeles mural pictures are taken from the November 1955 Improvement Era.)

Los Angeles Temple Garden Room Mural

Los Angeles Temple Garden Room Mural

Los Angeles Temple Garden Room Mural

Los Angeles Temple Garden Room Mural

Los Angeles Temple Garden Room Mural

Los Angeles Temple World Room Mural

Los Angeles Temple World Room Mural

In 1952, the First Presidency decided to construct a temple in Europe. From the outset, Church leadership had decided that this temple would have one room to present the endowment, instead of five. Without knowing exactly how this would be done, President David O. McKay suggested that the new temple would present ceremonies "in one room without moving from one room to another, utilizing modern inventions."* Another apostle said that "instead of having the members move from one room to another, we will bring the rooms to the people."**

Even though the temple was designed with one room in mind, the exact manner in which the ceremony would be presented wasn't yet official. It was in the fall of 1953 that Gordon B. Hinckley was officially tasked with finding the best way to present the temple instruction in various languages (as would be needed in Europe). Hinckley concluded that a film presentation would work best.

The ceremony was filmed in the assembly room of the Salt Lake Temple, using temple workers (dressed in white) for the parts and a very simple set. Each language was filmed for its own ceremony.

Swiss Temple Ordinance Room
The use of film for the endowment ceremony is not surprising; what is more surprising is how quickly and easily it became the standard for all future temples. The New Zealand temple, designed with the Swiss Temple, had the same design. By April 1956, Church leaders had decided that the stationary presentation would be used in all the temples, and even suggested that film could help reduce the crowds in the Salt Lake and Logan Temples. Apparently, Church leaders seriously considered modifying all temples to hold the film presentation.

The next 40 temples built, from 1955 to 1997, had stationary ordinance rooms. The first in the United States to do this was the Oakland temple, which originally used slide projectors to put pictures on the walls to simulate the rooms of the live endowment. From what I can tell, this extra touch didn't last long, and it wasn't ever used in other rooms. The live endowment, which was the standard for over 100 years, quickly became a rare way in which to experience the endowment. This would be magnified when it was decided to drastically modify older temples.

Next: Part 6 - Remodels and Revision

*Gregory A. Prince, David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2005), 262.
**Devery S. Anderson, The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2011), 290.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Payson First Ward

The Payson First Ward was built in 1931. The Payson Third Ward (which I highlighted a few years ago on this blog) came two years later, and it's evident that they had much of the same floor plan.

(Image Source: Church History Library)

The main difference is in the additions and steeple that came with the Payson First Ward. It gives the building a wonderful style that is unique.