Mormon Temple in Mesa Closes for Two-Year Renovation

The Mesa Arizona Temple is shutting down until 2020 for an extensive renovation. | Richard Webb

One of the Phoenix area's most well-known religious facilities will be closed for renovations for the next two years.

The Mesa Arizona Temple — commonly known as the Mormon Temple — shut its doors Saturday, May 19, Phoenix TV station 12 News and other outlets reported.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says the renovation, which should be complete by 2020, will upgrade the 70,000-square-foot building's air conditioning, plumbing and other building infrastructure. It also will demolish the temple's visitors center to provide a clear view of the temple from Main Street in downtown Mesa. The visitors center will be replaced by a "family discovery center" in a different location on temple property, the church said.

Other changes include restoring the temple and grounds to their original design by reversing changes from the last major renovation, in the 1970s.

The temple, which opened in 1927, is perhaps most widely known for its annual Easter pageant and for its Christmas light displays, which draw hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. Those events will be on hold during the renovation, the church said.

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