Two Mormon Temple Groundbreakings Announced: Tucson Arizona and Concepción Chile

You want another Mormon temple? How about two Mormon temples? You got it! Tucson and Chile break the chains by which they have been architecturally bound.

You want more temples? You get more temples!

We just reported on the Cedar City Temple groundbreaking coming up on August 8, and now we’re going to get a few more temples shifted into that “under construction” category: Tucson Arizona and Concepción Chile. Both of these temples will hold a formal groundbreaking on October 17, 2015 at 10:00 am. (We assume local time, but the announcement does not specify.)

The Tucson Arizona Temple was announced in the October 2012 General Conference, the same one when the missionary age requirements were lowered. As far as turnaround from announcement to groundbreaking, this isn’t a terrible one – three years.

The building will occupy an open lot along Skyline Drive in north Tucson, abutting Ina Rd.

Now let’s talk about the design of the Tucson Temple. At quick glance, it appears to follow the single-level design of the Phoenix Arizona Temple:


But that lower level is where comparisons cease, because the Tucson Temple’s spire, or rather, dome, is where things get interesting:


Seriously, look at that thing. It could be a state capitol, or fit among some of the great churches of Europe. I’m in love with it. I’ve never seen a temple that looks so Baroque, even if its lower half is of the typical anonymously modern approach we see on most contemporary temples. But the design work along the fringes is pretty cool.

This will be what seems like Arizona’s fortieth temple. OK, but it’s actually the sixth. One more and it’ll tie California for the coveted Most-Temples-In-One-State-Slash-Country-That’s-Not-Utah slot. So get it together, Yuma. Arizona is counting on you. (I’m intentionally ignoring Prescott.)

Also, I’m officially hoping the dome is open on the inside. Let’s fresco this thing. Join with me, everyone. #OpentheDome

Either way, Tucson wins, and wins big time. What a great design.

Not to be overlooked, the Concepción Chile Temple was announced way back in 2009, when President Monson had only been at the helm for 18 months. That seems like ages ago.

Either way, even with the protracted turnaround, Chile will now have its second temple after the rather small one that’s been in Santiago since the 80s.

The overall architecture and layout of Concepción appears to be similar to the soon-to-be-dedicated Tijuana Mexico Temple:


The temple looks to be next to a condominium building, but what the rendering doesn’t tell you is that the temple plot is actually practically right on the ocean – about 400 feet from the shore, according to Google Maps. Sadly, based on street view imagery, a rail line and some other developments block any major views of the Pacific. And you can bet your next tithing payment that those overhead power lines will be dropped underground. The Church gets really, really, really fussy about overhead power lines along temple plots.

The design of the Concepción Temple (I keep laughing to myself about a Mormon temple being in a city with such a delightfully Catholic name) plays it a bit safer. The building appears to be two levels and have a nice modern interpretation of a Spanish colonial building. Either way, it’s not as bold as the temple in Tijuana, but it’s still cool.

Temple groundbreakings are often announced a few months in advance, and these are only two months away, but one cannot help but wonder if the dates – two weeks after the next General Conference – are intentional so that we have a full Quorum of the Twelve to take care of this stuff.

What are your thoughts on the new temples and their designs? Time to update that infographic!

Photos courtesy of the Mormon Newsroom


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