Oakland California Temple

The Oakland California Temple (formerly the Oakland Temple) is a temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) located in the hills of Oakland, California. It was built in the early 1960s, as part of a project announced by church president David O. McKay.[2][3]

Oakland California Temple
DedicationNovember 17, 1964, by David O. McKay
Site18.1 acres (7.3 ha)
Floor area80,157 sq ft (7,446.8 m2)
Height170 ft (52 m)
Official websiteNews & images
Church chronology

London England Temple

Oakland California Temple

Ogden Utah Temple
Additional information
AnnouncedJanuary 23, 1961, by David O. McKay
GroundbreakingMay 26, 1962, by David O. McKay
Open house5-31 October 1964; 11 May–1 June 2019 (following renovations)
RededicatedJune 16, 2019, by Dallin H. Oaks
Current presidentJohn C. Hodgman[1]
Designed byHarold W. Burton
LocationOakland, California, United States
Geographic coordinates37°48′28.0″N 122°11′57.1″W / 37.807778°N 122.199194°W / 37.807778; -122.199194
Exterior finishSierra white granite over reinforced concrete
Temple designModern, five-spire design
Ordinance rooms4 (Movie, stationary rooms)
Sealing rooms7
Clothing rentalYes
Visitors' centerYes

The temple is a prominent landmark featuring a five-spire East Asian architectural design topped by a Buddhist symbol similar to the San Francisco Peace Pagoda on the main spire. The temple complex includes a visitors' center as well as a garden with fountains frequently used in photoshoots, as it offers panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay Area. The auditorium hosts performances open to the public such as dance, music, and pageants. The Hayward Fault runs through the property, necessitating two lengthy closures for seismic retrofit.

History Edit

The temple and Oakland at sunset, with San Francisco's Sutro Tower visible in the distance

The building of the Oakland Temple, as well as other LDS Church temples in California was considered as early as 1847. LDS Church members who had traveled by ship around Cape Horn to California were told by Brigham Young that "in the process of time, the shores of the Pacific may yet be overlooked from the Temple of the Lord."[4]

The site where the Oakland Temple now stands was inspected by McKay, then second counselor in the church's First Presidency, in 1942. The 14.5 acres (59,000 m2) were purchased by the church on January 28, 1943.[5] Ground was broken for the temple in 1962.[6]

On February 23, 2017, the church announced that beginning February 2018, the temple would close for renovations that would be completed in 2019.[7] Following completion of the renovations, a public open house was held from 11 May through 1 June 2019, excluding Sundays.[8] The temple was rededicated on Sunday, June 16, 2019, by Dallin H. Oaks.[9] The renovation included putting the front doors back in use, updating upholstery, installing new carpeting, updating the electrical system, new paneling, and restoring an outdoor reflecting pool.[10] A new visitors' waiting area was added that features added windows that gather light reflected from the reflection pool outside.[11] In 2020, the Oakland California Temple was closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.[12]

The temple today Edit

A map of the temple site

Built in the 1950s, the inter-stake center is the oldest church building at the site. Originally referred to as the "tri-stake center", the building served the San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley stakes.[13] The center includes two chapels for sacrament meetings, an auditorium, a gymnasium, several classrooms, and offices. As of May 2021, the building is used by 14 congregations in languages of English, Spanish, Chinese, and Khmer.[14]

There is a Family History Center (FHC), an LDS Employment Center, an LDS Distribution Center, and the headquarters of the California Oakland–San Francisco Mission.[13] In addition, a small memorial to the Brooklyn is located on the west side of the property.

Visitors' center Edit

Adjacent to the temple is the visitors' center (opened 1992) which includes artwork, displays, and a reproduction of Thorvaldsen's Christus statue. Visitors can also learn about the temple, have questions answered, and learn more about the LDS Church. The visitors' center is staffed by volunteers,[15] and open to the public.[16] In 2004, the visitors' center was remodeled to better emphasize Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith's Restoration.[17]

A copy of Bertel Thorvaldsen's Christus in the visitors' center

Garden and pool Edit

The temple grounds are set on 18.1 acres and includes a garden integrated with water features. The site attracts local photographers.[18]

Christmas Edit

The temple at Christmas

Every holiday season since 1978, the temple grounds are lit up with thousands of Christmas lights. It originally started with 50,000 multi-colored lights. By 1998, the Christmas display had grown to 500,000 lights that could be seen from the San Francisco Bay. Along with the lights, musical performances and dances are organized to celebrate Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ.[17]

Auditorium Edit

The auditorium seats 1,600 people and has a 60-foot (18 m) stage.[19] When more seating is needed, the auditorium can be extended into a large cultural hall that's large enough to fit two full-size basketball courts.[20] The cultural hall was used years ago as a practice facility for the NBA's Golden State Warriors.[19] The concert hall is home to the Temple Hill Symphony Orchestra, Temple Hill Choir, and the Temple Hill Dance Company.[21] In addition, the concert hall hosts other musicians, singers, and performance groups.[22] Besides the three resident organizations and the temple pageant, many Brigham Young University (BYU) performing arts groups have performed in the auditorium.[23]

The Hayward Fault runs directly underneath the auditorium building.[24] The slowly creeping fault has offset minor parts of the building, and exterior pavement has cracked.[25] The rate of creep is about 0.6 inches (16 mm) per year, which may alleviate tension in the fault. Even so, the fault zone is regarded as dangerous, with geologists estimating a 33% chance of a large earthquake occurring before the year 2040.[26] The auditorium and temple were closed for refit after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, to open a year later in October 1990.[27] A sharply jolting 4.2 magnitude strike-slip earthquake hit the area in July 2007.[28] The auditorium and temple closed again for seismic retrofit in February 2018, except for the visitor's center and gardens which stayed open.[27] The work was finished in May 2019.[29]

Family history center Edit

The family history center (FHC) helps people find and identify their ancestors. Open to the public, volunteers will help anybody interested in tracing their own genealogy. Many members of the local community frequently visit the family history. Four out of every five visitors to the FHC are not members of the LDS Church.[17] Genealogical activities by LDS Church members date back decades prior to the building of the Oakland California Temple.[17]

Design Edit

The Oakland California Temple

Designed by architect Harold W. Burton[30] in 1962, the temple features a combination of Art Deco, Asian, and midcentury elements. Recent renovations in 2019 renovation took place led by architect David Hunter & interior designer Karen Willardson. The building has many Asian-inspired elements represented in the structure of the building along with the interior design.[31] As with other LDS-built temples, the Oakland one was built using the "finest craftsmanship and materials available."[32]

The temple sits on a prominent site in the Oakland hills and has become a local landmark. Through the front courtyard are stairways which led to the temple terrace situated above the ground floor of the temple. From the temple grounds and terrace are views of the Bay Area, including downtown Oakland, the Bay Bridge, Yerba Buena Island, downtown San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. The grounds are accented by flowers, palm trees, and a formal-style man-made river running from one fountain to the other.

The temple was built on an 18.3-acre (74,000 m2) plot, has four ordinance rooms, seven sealing rooms, and has a total floor area of 95,000 square feet (8,800 m2).[33] The temple & its associated complex of buildings are referred to by some as "Temple Hill."[34]

Exterior Edit

Located in the city of Oakland, California, at 4770 Lincoln Ave, it is the only LDS temple built with a modern five-spire design.[30] The five exterior golden spires reflect the sun with the tallest spire reaching 170 feet.[10] The exterior of the temple is reinforced concrete faced with sierra white granite from Raymond, California. On the north and south faces of the temple are two decorative friezes; it is the last LDS temple to have such.[15]

At night, the exterior of the building is lit up. Some refer to it as "the beacon on the hill" because the temple is visible to much of the Bay Area. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) uses the Oakland California Temple as a navigation beacon.[11][35]

Interior Edit

The goal of the interior design is to bring a remembrance of Jesus Christ to those who visit the temple.[36] The interior of the temple décor is “subdued, with shades of tan and brown and traditional furnishings.” Found throughout the temple are paintings and other pieces of artwork.[37] The walls feature white oak paneling accented by marble flooring.[11] Artwork includes paintings, murals, and relief artworks. The lobby has a relief artwork representing Adam and Eve and another with Christ in the garden at Gethsemane. Other paintings throughout the building are a mix of scenes from the life of Jesus Christ and nature scenes of California landscapes.[10] Several rooms include full length mirrors, opulent crystal sconces, and refined oriental designed seating. The baptistry features gold leaf decorations on the ceiling, marble columns, and bronze railings. The sealing rooms are adorned with dark cherry wood paneling, backlit marble altars, and mirrors that create an infinite reflection. Some of the sealing rooms feature barrel vaulted ceilings.[11]

Presidents Edit

Notable presidents of the temple have included Lorenzo N. Hoopes (1985–90) and Durrel A. Woolsey (1996–99).[38]

And it Came to Pass Pageant Edit

In the nearby Interstake Center, local members performed a Latter-day Saint pageant (an annual theatrical production) for many years. The pageant, commonly known as the "Temple Pageant," was a musical stage production rehearsing the history and legacy of the LDS Church. It was one of only a few "temple pageants" around the country; others include the Easter Pageant in Mesa, Arizona, and the Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti, Utah. Until its retirement, it was the only such pageant performed indoors as well as the only one to be fully accompanied by a live orchestra. Initially, the pageant consisted of three acts performed over three consecutive nights; however, it was eventually shortened to an hour and a half.[39][40][41] In November 2007, a letter sent to stake and mission presidents in the region from D. Todd Christofferson, then of the Presidency of the Seventy, indicated that the pageant would no longer be held.

Organizations Edit

The Temple Hill Symphony Orchestra was formed in 1985. It has 52 members, about a third of whom are not Latter-day Saints. It has other sponsors besides the LDS Church and is a non-profit organization that offers free concerts. It is currently directed by John Pew.[42]

There is also a Temple Hill Public Affairs Council which seeks to use the resources on the location to raise awareness of the LDS Church and its mission. As of 2007, it was directed by Lorenzo Hoopes.[13]

The Temple Hill Choir and Behold Dance Collective—The Temple Hill Dance Company are also based here.[43][44]

Gallery Edit

See also Edit

Temples in California Temples in the Los Angeles metropolitan area
Red = Operating
Blue = Under construction
Yellow = Announced
Black = Closed for renovation

References Edit

  1. ^ https://churchofjesuschristtemples.org/oakland-california-temple/presidents/
  2. ^ "Visit Oakland Temple". TempleHill.org. Retrieved July 3, 2021.
  3. ^ "Chapter 19: Buildings and Blessings: 1950–1964 | Religious Studies Center". rsc.byu.edu. Archived from the original on May 31, 2015.
  4. ^ McKay, David O. (November 17, 1964), "Oakland California Temple: We invoke Thy blessing particularly upon Thy people in this temple district", Church News
  5. ^ LDS Church Almanac: 2008 Edition, 2007, p. 550[full citation needed]
  6. ^ McKay, David O. (August 1962), "Oakland California Temple Groundbreaking", Improvement Era, 65 (8): 584–585
  7. ^ "Oakland California and Washington D.C. Temples to Close for Renovation", Newsroom, LDS Church, February 23, 2017
  8. ^ "Public Invited to Tour Newly Renovated Oakland California Temple", Newsroom, LDS Church, December 18, 2018
  9. ^ "President Oaks Rededicates Oakland California Temple: Latter-day Saint youth meet with President Oaks and Elder David A. Bednar in special devotional", Newsroom, LDS Church, June 16, 2019
  10. ^ a b c Hegarty, Peter (May 7, 2019). "A peek inside Oakland's Mormon temple, seldom viewed by outsiders". East Bay Times. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d "Visit the newly renovated Oakland Temple". Oakland Temple. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  12. ^ Stack, Peggy Fletcher. "All Latter-day Saint temples to close due to coronavirus", The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 March 2020. Retrieved on 28 March 2020.
  13. ^ a b c Hill, Greg (September 15, 2007), "Oakland's Temple Hill—A beacon for members", Church News
  14. ^ "Oakland Sunday Church Services". TempleHill.org. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  15. ^ a b "Oakland California Temple". Church of Jesus Christ Temples. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  16. ^ "Oakland Temple Visitors' Center". churchofjesuschrist.org. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  17. ^ a b c d Cowan, Richard O.; Larson, Robert G. "Building Bridges". Religious Studies Center. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  18. ^ Baldassari, Erin (June 17, 2019). "For Catholic quinceañeras, Oakland's Mormon temple is place to be". The Mercury News. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  19. ^ a b Taylor, Scott (June 16, 2019). "3,000 youth welcome President Oaks, Elder Bednar to devotional prior to Oakland temple dedication". Church News. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  20. ^ Hill, Greg (September 15, 2007). "Temple Hill: Oakland's highly visible spiritual gathering place". Church News. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  21. ^ "Temple Hill Events". Temple Hill Events. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  22. ^ "Oakland Temple Hill Events". churchofjesuschrist.org. The Church of Jesus christ of Latter-Day Saints. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  23. ^ "Temple Hill & ISC", Temple Hill Choir, archived from the original on July 28, 2011
  24. ^ Kieckhefer, Bob (June 1990). "The October 17, 1989 Earthquake: Geology & Impacts" (PDF). Northern California Geological Survey. Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  25. ^ Stoffer, Philip W. (2008). "Where's the Hayward Fault? A Green Guide to the Fault" (PDF). United States Geological Survey. Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  26. ^ Perlman, David (October 16, 2009). "Creeping Hayward Fault might ease quake tension". SF Gate. Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  27. ^ a b Mara, Janis (February 27, 2018). "Oakland's landmark Mormon Temple closing for year for renovations". East Bay Times. Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  28. ^ Tucker, Jill; Lagos, Marisa (July 20, 2007). "2007 quake hit Berkeley with similar magnitude, similar epicenter, similar time". SF Gate. Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  29. ^ Staff (May 10, 2019). "Rare, limited-time public invitation inside Oakland's Mormon Temple. Here's when". Modesto Bee. Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  30. ^ a b Candland, Evelyn (1992), An Ensign to the Nations: History of the Oakland Stake, Oakland, CA: Oakland California Stake, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, OCLC 78984818
  31. ^ Woo, Jen (May 15, 2019). "Mormon Temple in Oakland Hills Is Remodeled in Line with Art Deco Original". ADPro. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  32. ^ "Oakland Temple Media Kit" (PDF). churchofjesuschrist.org. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  33. ^ Satterfield, Rick, "Oakland California Temple", LDSChurchTemples.com
  34. ^ Hill, Greg (September 15, 2007). "Temple Hill: Oakland's highly visible spiritual gathering place". Church News.
  35. ^ Cowan, Claudia (May 21, 2019). "Mormon temple long shrouded in secrecy briefly opens doors to the public". Fox News. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  36. ^ Wilensky, David (May 14, 2019). "A journey into the Holy of Holies — in a Latter-day Saints temple". The Jewish News of Northern California. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  37. ^ Matthews, Sam. "Inside a sacred building, shrouded in mystery". Tracy Press. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  38. ^ Satterfield, Rick. "Oakland California Temple:Presidents", ChurchofJesusChristTemples.org, 2020. Retrieved on 28 March 2020.
  39. ^ Rott, Dale (Summer 2005), "Intersections Between Theatre and the Church in the United States: 1930-1990" (PDF), Journal of Religion and Theatre, 4 (1)
  40. ^ Ghaznavi, Shanna (July 1999), "Stars under the Sky", New Era
  41. ^ Rees, Bridget (June 5, 2007). "LDS Pageants". LDS Living Magazine. ISSN 1540-9678.
  42. ^ Haddock, Sharon (June 17, 2010), "The 586-mile commute of an orchestra director", Deseret News
  43. ^ "About Us", templehillevents.com, Temple Hill Events
  44. ^ "Tapestry Performance", beholddance.org, Behold Dance Collective

External links Edit