Mormon Church to build Temple near Lincoln Center

August 2002
By Rick Ross

The Mormon Church will be building a Temple in Manhattan across the street from the Lincoln Center. But unlike its usual Temples, this one will not be freestanding. Instead it will sit on top of a six-story multi-function complex, already in partially used by the LDS Church.

Though the church claims 11 million followers, only 62,000 are on its roles within the New York area. LDS roles may include the names of inactive Mormons.

Mormon Temples are used for marriages (when recommended), baptisms of the dead and other sacred and secret ordinances and ceremonies.

This is only the second time in church history that a Temple will be constructed as part of an existing building, Hong Kong is the other exception. Both cities have some of the highest priced property in the world.

LDS Church President Gordon Hinckley said the church had "spent more money on real estate in New York City than on the other 63 stakes in the area combined." The church has bought other NY properties elsewhere in Manhattan, Harlem and Washington Heights.

The new Temple will actually only occupy the top two floors of the building. Other floors will be used for social activities and a "genealogical center." The upper floors, which will become the Temple, were once used for a health club's racquet ball courts.

One Mormon consultant concluded, "This move is definitely inspired."

Note: This article is largely based upon "LDS Plan Temple in Manhattan" Salt Lake Tribune, August 8, 2002 By Peggy Fletcher Stack

Copyright © 2002 Rick Ross.

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