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[dropcap]E[/dropcap]arlier this year, we reported on the Hong Kong Temple joining the proud ranks of temples going under the, uh, reciprocating saw for long-term renovations. However, unlike similar announcements, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chose to withhold additional information regarding the renovation until a later date, leaving us to speculate recklessly about what might happen.
Well, speculate no more! Now we have the facts, and we’re going to run with them.
As we expected, the temple’s interior will be altered substantially, primarily because some floors of the multi-use building that house the temple are currently vacant, with many previous offices moving across the street to a newer stake center facility. Indeed, one of the floors that was previously used as a meetinghouse will be incorporated into the temple itself. Other rooms will be “reconfigured to create a better patron experience.”
We also counted on the usual technical/mechanical/structural upgrades, but one interesting area mentioned by the Church’s press release is that the temple has been singled out to be reinforced against moisture. For anyone not familiar with where Hong Kong is located, it is neither cold nor dry there. Twenty years of humidity can take its toll on any building.
And speaking of the elements taking a toll, the entire building will be reclad in new stones and some windows will also be “reworked.” The existing structure is a soft grey, polished granite. As you can see in the renderings below, the future building will likely be lighter in tone. You can also see how the window structure will change significantly to become more angular.
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Curiously, the plans call for removing the temple’s spire along with (presumably, it’s not explicitly stated) the statue of the angel Moroni. Unless this is merely an artistic liberty as far as the statue itself goes (lest we forget the renderings of the Provo City Center Temple that magically made the NuSkin campus disappear), it seems the Church is following its more recent trend of parting ways with the angelic minister on some of its boxier or more urban temples. Given that trend, we have to wonder whether the Manhattan New York Temple would have received a Moroni were it built today.
Additional improvements include some of those typical to temple renovations: improved grounds, updated furniture, new artwork, etc.
Unfortunately, we’re going to have to wait roughly three years to see the finished product. The building closed in July, and the Church has only given a loose open house and dedication date of “sometime in 2022,” which seems like a great year to do it – exactly 25 years after control of Hong Kong reverted to China, and only 25 more years from the time China will completely absorb Hong Kong and abolish its autonomy.
So, uh, we have 28 years to get democracy across all of China or the Hong Kong China Temple might not reopen the next time around.