The Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple will be the 152nd operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worldwide and the first in Pennsylvania. It will serve more than 40,000 Church members in parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland.
Location: 1739 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Plans Announced: October 4, 2008
Groundbreaking: September 17, 2011
Public Open House: August 10–September 9, 2016
Cultural Celebration: September 17, 2016
Dedication: September 18, 2016
Property Size: 1.6 acres
Building Size: 61,466 square feet
Building Height: 208 feet, 2 inches
Architect: Perkins + Will and FFKR
Contractor: Driscoll and Big-D Joint Venture
Building: The exterior of the building is clad in granite quarried in Maine and fabricated in Canada. The granite was installed by Madison Concrete of Philadelphia, and the cladding was installed by Dan L. LePore and Sons of Philadelphia. The angel Moroni statue atop the east spire is 21 feet, 2 inches tall and is made of fiberglass covered with gold leafing.
Exterior Art Glass: The exterior art glass was designed by Perkins & Will of Philadelphia and Stephen Bennion, LDS project architect. It was manufactured by Glass Images of Orem, Utah, in opalescent white, with beige and blue accents. The large sealing room and celestial room windows incorporate a radiating arch with decorative scallops and roundels surrounding a central sunburst.
Landscaping: The landscape architect is Perkins & Will of Atlanta, Georgia. Vegetation includes a variety of trees, shrubbery and flowers native to the eastern regions of the United States and was chosen to provide year-round color and texture to the temple grounds, enhance the ground’s fountain and complement the area immediately surrounding the temple.
Fence and Walkways: The granite in the plaza was quarried in Raymond, California, and fabricated by Cold Spring Granite of Cold Spring, Minnesota. The black basalt used as an accent stone was quarried in southern China and fabricated and installed by Cleveland Marble Mosaic Company of Cleveland, Ohio. Precast concrete limestone pavers highlighting the temple’s east entrance are by Hanover Architectural Products of Hanover, Pennsylvania.
Flooring: The flooring materials were selected in keeping with the American Georgian period. The types of stone featured are Samah, quarried in Egypt and fabricated in Italy, and Perlato, quarried and fabricated in Italy. Some areas of the building feature period cherry wood plank flooring. Edward Fields Company of New York City designed and manufactured the large hand-tufted rugs in shades of gold, tan, blue, red and green.
Decorative Painting: The paint designs incorporate raised bas-relief plaster detailing of neoclassical motifs found in Philadelphia and are featured in the instruction, celestial and sealing rooms. Evergreen Studios of New York City produced the design. Monochromatic, low-contrast colors in whites and tans were chosen for this specialized decorative feature.
Murals: The temple features several original murals. The mural in the instruction room is by Linda Curley-Christensen of Wallsburg, Utah. It depicts significant sites in both American and Church history, including the Susquehanna River and the Delaware River. The murals in the baptistry were done by Douglas Fryer of Spring City, Utah. These paintings represent the baptism of Church founder Joseph Smith Jr. by Oliver Cowdery in the Susquehanna River in 1829.
Decorative Lighting: Much of the lighting features antique brass lamps consistent with fixtures of the American Georgian period. Decorative lighting in the instruction, celestial and sealing rooms are crystal-style fixtures. The fixture in the second instruction room is designed to match the crystal fixture hanging in the Assembly Room of Independence Hall. Design development was provided by G-Lighting of St. Louis, Missouri, for the brass fixtures and Schonbek of New York City for the Swarovski crystal fixtures.
Millwork: The millwork becomes more elaborate as one progresses through the various rooms of the temple and includes classical orders of architecture: Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. In keeping with American design, the decoration and carved elements are minimal; those that appear are drawn from Philadelphia architectural sources. The fabricator for the temple’s millwork is Fetzer Millwork Company of Salt Lake City, Utah.
Baptismal Font: The railing in the baptistry is bronze with glass panels and a wood top rail. It was influenced by the stair railing in the Franklin Institute. Featured in the center of the latticed corners is a simple bas-relief of the mountain laurel blossom, Pennsylvania’s state flower.
Doors and Hardware: The temple’s main door and frame are of bronze, fabricated by the Atlas Bronze Company of Salt Lake City, Utah. It features horizontal ridges punctuated with a bas-relief mountain laurel blossom design. Interior doors on lower levels are a simple six-panel style and are constructed from cherry wood.
Walls: In several rooms of the temple, wall panels are suggested using an applied plaster molding, installed by Evergreene Architectural Arts of New York City. These rooms also have a painted rail and stile wainscot. Walls and trim throughout are coated in various shades of white.
Ceilings: Ceilings are a painted gypsum board. Moldings used vary from a three-inch Doric-style crown profile to large Corinthian entablatures. Rooms on the first three floors have a crown of Doric style, scaled to each the room’s height. Full Doric entablature is used in the most prominent spaces and features an additional 36-inch cove made of cast plaster. The second instruction room includes a full Ionic entablature resting on pilasters. The celestial room features a full Ionic entablature at the lower level and a full Corinthian entablature at the upper level. The ceiling has a large oculus with a view to the underside of a dome painted with a coffered pattern. Line work is gold leafing. The rooms on the fourth floor have Ionic crowns. The sealing rooms have a full entablature in the Corinthian order with an up-lit cove. Decorative plaster ceiling ornamentation is used in the celestial, sealing and second instruction rooms.