The Florida Panhandle was long on our list of areas outside of 200 miles from the nearest temple. Despite a considerable number of stakes, one might have wondered whether the region was somehow being held back from greater blessings. After all, this is the area that gave us Matt Gaetz, so any number of curses could befall the citizenry!
Jokes! However, in the past, we had called for a temple in Panama City (spring break, woooo!!!), but lost in the excitement that came from announcing a temple in mainland China in the April 2020 General Conference was the news that Tallahassee, the capital city of Florida, would soon be home to a Latter-day Saint Temple. For saints whose nearest temple is in either Atlanta, Montgomery, or Baton Rouge (and barely Orlando), a new temple in their midst will be an enormous blessing. And now we know where the temple will be built as well as how it will look!
As you can see above, the structure appears to follow the template used in other recent temples under construction, notably McAllen Texas, Bentonville Arkansas, and Salta Argentina (all of which have been involved in our 2020 Temple Awards).
The Tallahassee temple looks slightly taller than the others, but the 29,000 square foot floorplan is nearly identical to McAllen, for example, so we expect essentially the same temple, save with interior design nods to the culture and wonder of the Panhandle region, like, um, pine forests, the U.S. military, and spring break (wooooo! again).
Design-wise this is fine. We’re not sure it will lead any categories in the 2021 TWiM Temple Awards.
But the compound will have a Distribution Center, which is always a nice boon.
The temple’s address, 2440 Papillon Way, in Tallahassee, Florida, appears to be at or adjacent to a local meetinghouse. Temples like this are often built next to an existing building for local congregations.
However, the rendering announcement made no mention of the meetinghouse. Normally this shouldn’t matter, but a satellite view of the site reveals tight quarters around the existing building. The gap between the meetinghouse and the residential area to the east appears too small for a nearly 30,000 square foot temple. Likewise, the space between the meetinghouse and Thomasville Road is also pretty tight. Doable, but tight.
So will the meetinghouse be demolished to make way for the temple, such as the one in Taylorsville, Utah?
Of course, the temple could always just be across the street, and based on the icon location in the Church’s little schematic, that might be the case.
Either way, the temple will be located on the northeastern edge of Tallahassee, but close-ish to a bougie shopping center that includes both a Trader Joe’s and a Hobby Lobby. Florida FTW.
The Tallahassee Florida Temple will be the third temple in Florida and serve approximately 160,000 Latter-day Saint in the region. No groundbreaking date has been announced nor further renderings revealed at this stage. It typically takes approximately three years from a temple’s groundbreaking until its dedication.