Comments about ‘New temple will be a blessing to Provo's downtown area, officials say’

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Published: Friday, Aug. 16 2013 4:15 p.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

Being older than dirt I can recall downtown Provo before the Orem Mall and of course the Provo Town Center Mall. The City of Provo chose to abandon downtown to focus on development south of the train tracks. Any redevelopment of what is left of downtown Provo should rest on the shoulders of Provo.

With some enlightened leadership and fortitude the city could have had the mall where it was originally intended - right off the Center Street exit ramp at 500 West. They fumbled and Orem got the mall, Provo got a blighted downtown.

I hope to frequent the temple when open, and I do enjoy the restaurants on, and close to Center Street. I hope the downtown does improve.

Poplar Grove, UT

Ok, So it's a good looking building, so I understand why it would be aesthetically pleasing. If your LDS I understand why a temple is a spiritual blessing. What I don't understand is why it would be an economic blessing. It's not a direct economic blessing, and if they are buying up property around the building it's a negative economic situation, because the properties bought up by the LDS church are no longer paying property taxes. I guess they think that there will be a large increase in traffic to the area? I don't really have skin in the game(considering I live in SLC) it just seems to me that this positive economic impact should be explained in the article.

Genola, UT

Provo's downtown is not particularly vibrant but it's a far cry from blighted.

Poplar Grove, UT

Ok, i'm dumb. I missed the second page of the article. If Provo is assuming(or knows but isn't saying) that the LDS church will develop areas around the temple sure I can see an economic impact. But putting a temple there and not doing anything else I still don't see where there is a positive economic impact.

Provo, ut

Personally, as a long time community member and tithe payer, I think they should have knocked the thing down, built a new, better, cheaper structure, and used a few of the old bricks on the entryway. But that's just me.

Norco, CA

Graduation Day for me 30 years ago was in the Tabernacle. Spending money for eating out and buying odds and ends was in downtown. With the soon to be temple there, many LDS temple patrons will be frequent patrons also of the food facilities close by. Our daughter used to sing at one of the venues downtown and it was a hot spot for the college students in the evening. Provo used to have a motto back in the day, "Got IT? Get IT!" Hopefully now that the city GOT IT, they will GET IT too.


The Church probably would've liked to do the same thing. They weren't allowed to knock it down since it was considered a historical structure. In the end they did the most with what they could. I look forward to its completion!

Medical Lake, Washington

People tend to be drawn towards nice looking things -- whether that be beautiful people in the movies, flowers vs. weeds, and well planned city areas vs. slums. The fact that money is being poured into this project by an entity with a reputation for doing things up nice, it will attract people who will come to shop, to eat, to rest and invest. That is called economic growth.

Cultures which no longer invest their time and their resources into creating beauty become content with the mundane, content with mediocrity and eventually begin to rot and decay. Granted, many don't see a direct correlation between a new, well built building - such as a temple, civic center, etc., and community economic growth --- which is part of the problem with society today.

Morgan Hill, CA

Too bad they can't do this with Detroit.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

I am glad the building will be salvaged.

The photograph is fascinating. Given an older brick structure, seeing it virtually suspended in air on steel beams (where the foundation will be) is rather surprising.

Farmington, UT

I remember when downtown Provo had a single lane of parking and two rows of cars could travel in each direction; half the block parked from going east, the other half parked from going west. Then they got the bright idea to make two rows of parking and a single lane of traffic. They also planted saplings. Immediately Center Street became a slog, bogged down street and people started avoiding it if they have to be somewhere before next Tuesday. Then the University Mall came in, and WHAM---the bus service that picked up university students without cars but had money to shop, went first to the mall in Orem, then back to downtown Prove, then to the university. The money got off the bus in Orem. Thirdly, downtown Provo didn't have for decades any exciting places, buildings, things to want to do while there, etc. including City Hall, so large it was put in by a shoe horn. The library relocated, too.
Provo can chalk up it's misery to one thing: poor planning. A 2nd item....try reactionary response to anything exciting downtown.

Provo---a boring place. They certainly need a vision of the future.

Salt Lake City, UT

I am very happy the building could be saved. What is going on with the 2 floors under ground? Food storage, bomb shelter?

Brother Benjamin Franklin
Orem, UT

I am not seeing how a temple provides any apparent economic value to the downtown area. The only thing it seems to do is add another building that drives up the cost to purchase property to start new businesses in the area, reduce or make parking more difficult, and create safety issues within those areas.

Higher costs, less parking, and more safety hazards. I do not see how those increase economic value, particularly at a time when we need to reduce the cost of property and make it easier for startup businesses to invest in downtown Provo.

My view is that when we get religions and churches involved, they usually end up creating more problems than they solve. (City Creek Center and Ogden seemed to be exceptions here).

The LDS Church may be good for helping with social and poverty issues, but this whole situation is proving that churches do not do a good job with economic and political community involvement.

Somewhere in Time, UT

I'm so grateful they saved the tabernacle. Sensitivity toward the feelings of those of us who have loved it and used it all our lives is important. It will also revitalize downtown Provo and bring lots of businesses in. That's not too hard to understand. They are taking something wonderful and making it even more wonderful. Thanks President Monson.

Most Truthful and Patriotic
Layton, UT

Having a temple is no economic benefit.

Look at Monticello, Utah.
There used to be a nice Best Western; now, it's a run-down "no-name" motel.
The new motel is already a low-class Rodeway Inn.
The restaurants? Are there any open in Monticello? Not when we drive through.

IF a Mormon temple benefitted a city economically, Ogden wouldn't have "redeveloped" its downtown TWICE since the Ogden temple was built....and now that one is being downgraded from "interesting architecture" to "same old boring style".

There's also the "gentile factor", where half of Utah will stay away from the area -- and it's my experience that those are the people who actually spend the money.
I understand that there are cafeterias in temples, and people congregate there while "blessed". That doesn't help nearby restaurants...and since this isn't a travel destination (what with another in town), locals will just go home to eat.

Red Headed Stranger
Billy Bobs, TX

Gone fishin'

Usually there are a couple of things that are underground in LDS temples. (I'm not an official LDS spokesman, but I'll try to do my best). We usually have a baptismal font supported by twelve statues of oxen. The font is underground to bring symbolic attention to the grave, which is one of the meanings of baptism. We believe Christ was resurrected, so the coming out of the water is symbolic of that resurrection (coming out of the grave) and our belief in a future resurrection.

We also use white clothing in the temple, and not everyone brings their own set of clothing, so there are laundry facilities on site.

Sometimes temples have cafeterias so the people who volunteer there don't have to change in and out of their clothing to eat after working for several hours.

Also there is the typical building plant equipment (hot water heaters, ducts, air conditioning), and perhaps some office space and maybe even the locker rooms where we change from our street clothing into white clothing. Since the perimeter is preset with the brick walls, any extra needed space would have to go down, not out or up.

Medical Lake, Washington

@Most Truthful and Patriotic.

The church did not have to revitalize Ogden twice. When the Ogden temple was first built in the early seventies, Ogden was a thriving community. But then, civic leaders began to destroy it. They imposed high costs on developers - driving them into the communities of Riverside and Roy instead. Then they poured a lot of money into restoring a street which was once a red light district close to the train station and had little or no practical value. Customers abandoned the Ogden mall and patronized the new developments across city boundaries. Downtown Ogden became a dangerous place to be. This is when the church stepped in, purchased the property and brought some life back to this forgotten city.

Success stories of Salt Lake and Ogden were cited; while claiming that Monticello was a failure. I didn't know the church did a major development there - other than building a temple. The church isn't responsible for how civic leaders and developers handle their towns. The church tries to create some beauty around it's temples and church buildings, as much as if feasible.

Bakersfield, CA

None of my friends in the families of John D. Lee, or any ancestors of the Fancher-Baker wagon train are impressed with the Church's focus in preserving their own sites and buildings, to the exclusion of serious help in preserving the cairn and grave sites at Mountain Meadows, until the last minute. Had the non-church family organizations not gotten active when they did, those burial sites would have slipped into utter disrepair.

So this September 11, go visit near Enterprise, UT and appreciate what the mutual efforts eventually preserved. 1857 was America's first 9/11. And no property or remuneration was ever given back to the loss of 123 persons, outside of their 17 children.

Having 7th-generation pioneer ties, I know that back story, as many others here have given their Provo Tab details. The facts of preserving the MMM site is not a pretty one. But atleast President Hinckley got on board when he heard what the Lee and Fancher families were doing, and lent church support and monies to that effort. If you visit the site, note the porta-potty there compared with the tweleve marble stalls at the Jacob Hamblin home.

Provo, UT

Most Truthful and Patriotic: They are redoing the Ogden Temple. It's not going to be the same design

Boise, ID

To Most Truthful and Patriotic: New temples, at least in the US, don't have cafeterias anymore. They have a small snack room for workers to eat their meals brought from home, unless they're going to eat out or at home. Much the same as a workplace environment outside the temple.

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