SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — A months-long long public open house has been scheduled for the recently renovated Washington DC Temple. 2News has been invited to attend a media tour before the doors open.
The open house was originally planned for two months, but after around 50 percent of available parking reservations were requested within the first two weeks, Church leaders decided to extend the tour and delay the rededication.
Public tours have been scheduled to start Thursday, April 28. Tickets are free and can be obtained at https://dctemple.org/. Tickets were available through June 11.
Tours have been scheduled for all days of the week except Sunday.
According to officials from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, no decision has yet been made about extending the open house beyond that date.
A youth devotional has been scheduled for Saturday, August 13, followed by the temple rededication the next day.
Officials said it will be the first time the temple will be open to the public since it was first dedicated in Nov. 1974 by then-President Spencer W. Kimball.
The multi-year renovation was planned to make major upgrades to the structure's electrical, lighting and plumbing systems. Officials said new flooring, wood finish and art glass were also installed.
The temple has been closed since March 2018. Renovations were expected to be completed in 2020, but delayed two years because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The temple underwent minor repairs after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake in Aug. 2011. Temple operations were able to continue as crews worked on the exterior of the building.
Photos were not allowed inside during the open house, but CBS Sunday Morning was given exclusive permission to bring cameras inside.
2News reporter Jim Spiewak will be at the temple Monday morning, where Elders David A. Bednar and Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles planned to speak to the media before a private tour.
Also at the event will be Sisters Sharon Eubank and Reyna I. Aburto, first and second counselor respectively of the Church’s Relief Society General Presidency, who also planned to address the media.
The Washington DC Temple sits on a 52-acre piece of land overlooking the Interstate 495 Capitol Beltway Inner Loop.
Commuters often comment on the temple spires that seem to float above the surrounding trees.
“We've been waiting for the temple to be rebuilt and rededicated. We're excited to be part of this community and to be part of this great opportunity to share with our neighbors,” said Lucy Lopez, a Church community outreach specialist.
The building was the 16th operating temple of the Church.