OGDEN, Utah -- The open house tours of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Ogden Temple started Friday, and thousands of people from all over the country have already been through the new space.
As expected, it was a busy first day. More than 500,000 people have RSVP’d for the open house, which means on average more than 13,000 people will be coming in and out of these gates to see the temple for themselves in the next 37 days.
“Oh it was beautiful, we’re so excited. Yeah, we came seven or eight years ago before they redid it, and yeah, it’s quite a bit different," said Jeanine and Ken Legler, a couple visiting from Arizona.
The temple has been closed for renovations since 2011, and visitors from out of town, out of state, or just a couple streets away are eager to see what has become of the Ogden temple.
“It was really pretty inside, all of the attention to detail, it was really impressive," said Ken Lingley of Kaysville.
“It was beautiful,” said Tom Perry, who is visiting form Washington. “It was really beautiful. I thought it was very peaceful and just a wonderful setting.”
The temple’s entire exterior is reshaped with new stone and art glass. The facade has completely changed, but the foundation as well as most of the rooms and walls remain. The entrance was swapped from the west to the east, where it faces Washington Boulevard, which is one of Ogden’s main streets.
“The architecture and the theme of the temple, it’s really Ogden,” said Mark Johnson, who is the chief administrative officer for Ogden. “It’s art-deco kind of style, and as you walk through you get the feeling of being in the Egyptian Theatre or Ogden High School or some of the great facilities we have in our community.”
The open house will run through September 6, but the city estimates the temple will draw at least a million people to the area each year, which is why the roads around the temple have been redone and upgraded.
Officials in Ogden made adjustments to traffic patterns to accommodate the high number of visitors, click here for details.