SALT LAKE CITY — The North Visitor's Center on Temple Square will be demolished later this year and replaced with gardens and space for reflection, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints announced in a press release Thursday.
The announcement is part of the Salt Lake Temple renovation project and will become a way to enhance the prominence of the temple.
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“This area will become a peaceful, quiet space on Temple Square,” said Andy Kirby, director of historic temple renovations for the Church in a press release. “The plans for this area will also provide a more direct and clear view of the Salt Lake Temple from the northwest area of Temple Square, enhancing the prominence of the temple.”
The North Visitors' center is 58-years-old and was originally built to welcome visitors to Temple Square.
The facility featured an eleven-foot replica of Bertel Thorvaldsen’s ‘Christus’ statue which church officials say has been carefully removed and will be reinstalled on Temple Square at the end of the renovation process.
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In addition to the statue, other artwork, exhibits and materials will be removed from the building.
“The North Visitors’ Center has already begun the process of decommissioning,” Kirby said in a press release. “This means that all art, exhibits and materials will be removed from the building in preparation for the work. After that process, crews will begin evaluation for abatement of any hazardous materials.”
The open gardens and contemplation space is expected to be completed by 2023.