Roof, tower for Provo City Center Temple add to downtown buzz (+photos)
The temple site now has an information booth manned by young LDS Church missionaries from the Provo Mission. Two missionaries at a time take one-hour shifts answering questions and teaching passers-by about temples.
On Wednesday, a missionary said the tower that caused the roof to sag nearly 100 years ago moved the edges of the building, making it impossible to build a perfectly symmetrical roof. Instead each individual piece on the roof is a different measurement, said Elder Abbott, who is from Phoenix.
Abbott said temple is still expected to be completed in spring 2015, about three years after the May 2012 groundbreaking.
Gandolph says Provo's downtown already draws more pedestrians, which was confirmed by his neighbor, Rachel Christensen, owner of Gloria's Little Italy Italian Restaurant, which sits kitty-corner from the temple site.
Other daytime shoppers and diners come from the Nu Skin campus, the renovation of the Central Bank building at 65 N. University, the $42 million Utah Valley Convention Center and Visitors Bureau, the Wells Fargo tower and Zions Bank tower.
"With the new convention center and the renovated Marriott Hotel, we got a lot of tourists," Gandolph said. "There's a lot more foot traffic. I'm really excited."
That's not all. To the surprise of many, Provo has turned into a thriving market for new musical talent, and the music clubs a block north of the temple spill college kids out the doors most nights of the week.
"The music scene across the street is really bringing in a night life," Gandolph said.
City fathers hope the new apartments add to the sense of a walkable community.
"The excitement that comes from the anticipated boost to the economy and the quality of life that comes from the temple is having a major impact," Provo Mayor John Curtis said. "I expect property values to go up around the temple. I expect owners around the temple will improve the way they landscape and care for yards and gardens. It's even raised the bar for the way the city takes care of property."
The city's façade program provides grants for downtown businesses to upgrade their look. The façade on the building on the northwest corner of University and Center streets got a bright, new touch-up early last week.
Nu Skin's Winger left his work space Wednesday in the company's high-rise overlooking the temple site and walked around the block to get a ground-floor look at all the progress on both the temple and Nu Skin campuses.
"It's a landmark for the city," he said of the tabernacle/temple. "It would have been strange not having it here, like losing a friend. The temple will make it a nicer, prettier, friendly area."
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