Inspiring LDS Architecture

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It seems a lot of designers like to discuss architecture that inspires them. I find that architecture inspires me as well. However, I realise I have been writing fewer LDS-oriented posts, so I thought perhaps I would do a post on what LDS architecture I find inspiring.

Okay, stop your laughing. Obviously a lot of modern LDS architecture consists of cookie-cutter chapels and temples. However there is some older architecture—and even some newer—that I do find inspiring.

Naturally, I find the Salt Lake Temple inspiring. It has a very gothic feel, but at the same time there is a distinct LDS flavour present. For example, the six spires of the SLC temple represent the restoration of priesthoods. There are also stones throughout the exterior with symbols representing Earth, the sun, the moon, stars, clouds, the all-seeing eye, clasped hands and Ursa Major pointing to the North Star. Even the doorknobs have intricate beehive designs engraved in them.

Salt Lake Temple

My favourite modern temple is the Houston Texas Temple. The pillars offer a very classical feel, but there is also a south-western/Mexican theme as well. Very beautiful. I wish the Church built more like this.

Houston Texas Temple

close-up of Houston Texas Temple

While I do not find the exterior of the Palmyra New York Temple inspiring, I find the cherry wood and extensive, narrative stained glass windows inspiring.

close-up of Palmyra New York Temple stained glass window depicting First Vision

Closer to home, I find the baptistery of the Cardston Alberta Temple very inspiring and, like the Salt Lake Temple, full of symbolism. For example, the tall, elaborate columns in each corner represent the twelve tribes of Israel. The high ceiling is also very awesome. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a public photo to use.

5 thoughts on “Inspiring LDS Architecture

  1. I’m looking for the Southwest/Mexican influence in the Houston Temple, but all I see is Greek classicism. What am I missing?

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