Larry Frost was 10 years old and present when the Mesa Arizona Temple was first dedicated in 1927.
As the temple’s public open house begins this week (it starts on October 16 and ends on November 20, excluding Sundays), the 104-year-old Frost is excited for the temple’s December 12 rededication.
Free open house tickets can be reserved at mesatemple.org/open-house.
The first photographs of the interior have also been released.
“Similar to temples of ancient times like Solomon’s Temple, we gather the best from the world to make the temple the house of the Lord,” said Andy Kirby, director of historic temple renovations for the Church. “We dedicate the best materials and craftsmanship to His house. It signifies the sacred nature and the special nature of a temple. It’s a sacred place on Earth where we can go to commune with God. That process really needs the best materials we can provide.”
Inside this house of the Lord are new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. In such a hot climate, said Dawson Stewart of Porter Brothers Construction, “if we do not improve the HVAC and the comfort level of this building, it won’t matter how nice everything else looks.”
The temple’s interior beauties, colors and motifs stay true to the colonial revival era. Design cues popular in 1920s America are found throughout. The classical grand hall, built of gray granite, looks just as it did when the temple was first built.
The above and below photos are the grand foyer. More than 50 decorative paints from the original 1920s color palette were used to bring this room back to its original luster. Checkerboard marble flooring from Turkey and Spain and marble wainscot and base from the original quarry in Birdseye, Utah, are some of the other materials used.
Above is a view from the upper grand hall from 1927.
The baptismal font is clad with rare terracotta tiles and rests on terracotta oxen.
An instruction room. New murals that honor the original muras’ artists cover the walls. Patrons advance from room to room in the Mes Temple, with each instruction room slightly elevated above the previous, symbolizing progression to heaven.
The bride’s room features mahogany-framed mirrors from Vietnam and a crystal chandelier.
The ceiling and walls were designed with neoclassical cues, featuring egg and dart, flutes, rosettes, and urns accented with gold leaf, as popular in the 1920s.
A detailed arched door outside of the celestial room shows off the Colonial Revival style.
A sealing room.
Above is a photograph of the celestial at its completion in 1927. Below is the renovated celestial room design.
The celestial room has crystalline chandeliers, fluted pilasters, and Corinthian capitals, offset by crystalline sconces.