Salt Lake Temple renovation reaches ‘hardest stage’ with work on foundation underway

SALT LAKE CITY — Temple Square already looks vastly different than it did nine months ago when crews began the massive Salt Lake Temple renovation project.

Gone are the majority of temple add-ons constructed in the 1960s, such as the north side entrance, chapel and sealing room addition, and nearly all objects that were located in the space north and south of the temple. Other buildings, such as the South Visitors’ Center, were demolished in January.

There’s also a large pit surrounding the historic structure after crews created a retaining wall around it as they work to strengthen the temple’s foundation.

“The next stage is probably the hardest, where we work on strengthening the foundation by adding to the foundation,” said Andy Kirby, director of historic temple renovations for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in a video released by the church Sunday.

The story of the temple’s foundation

While crews work on shoring up the building for seismic activity, they also get an up-close view of the temple’s foundation. It’s the first time a majority of the foundation has been visible since additions were constructed more than 50 years ago.

The history of that foundation is about as unique as the temple’s entire construction story — a structure that took 40 years to complete after its 1853 groundbreaking ceremony.

The location of the temple itself was set aside on July 28, 1847, just four days after pioneers reached the Salt Lake Valley. The groundbreaking happened in 1853 with the cornerstones laid on April 6, 1853, as a part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ spring general conference.

A recap of the ceremony was recorded in an edition of the Deseret News published 10 days later. The ceremony included talks, prayers and music as the

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Stage is part of $2M in improvements at Albany’s Lincoln Park

ALBANY — The city plans to spend $2 million to make improvements in Lincoln Park, including construction of an open-air theater and a pavilion, and the installation of seating and fitness equipment.

The work will be financed in part by nearly $450,000 in state funds secured by Assembly members John McDonald and Patricia Fahy. The rest of the work will be financed from the city’s capital fund through long-term borrowing that will be paid back over time.

At an announcement Tuesday morning, Mayor Kathy Sheehan said the city plans to revitalize playgrounds at Ridgefield, Westland Hills, Mater Christi and Washington Park too.

“These improvements were derived directly from the master plan, meaning that they come from our residents,” Sheehan said.

Sheehan’s proposed operating budget will be released on Thursday, and it comes in a year when the coronavirus pandemic has caused shortfalls in federal aid and a decline in tax revenue.

Over the summer, Sheehan warned that the city faced a $20 million revenue gap this year without a still unreached agreement in Congress on a new round of federal stimulus funds aimed at bailing out municipalities that lost tax revenue and aid during the pandemic.

Cathy Fahey, 7th ward councilmember, said she looks forward to the park’s improvements.

“These are really, really tough times. We’re looking at all kinds of cutbacks,” she said. “But investing in our parks is probably one of the most cost-effective things that we can do.”

She said improving the park is going to help improve the community is this fraught time.

“The safest place to be under COVID is outside,” she said. “It’s not just the safest place to be under covid — it’s the healthiest place, to be outside.”

Sonia Frederick, 1st ward councilmember, said the park belongs to the neighborhood, so she’s

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