On January 23, 1961, the plans for the Oakland temple were announced by David O. Mckay, the Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The grounds were broken on May 26th, 1962.
The Temple resides on an 18.3-acre lot, within the Oakland Hills, which The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints purchased in 1942. The first building located on the lot was the chapel, an auditorium, and a large cultural hall, called the Inter-Stake Center (ISC). This space is used for large Latter-Day Saint (Mormon) Gatherings. This was followed by the temple and later the visitor center.
Burton was inspired by the cultural influence which surrounded the Bay Area. The Temple’s five spires are based from Asian architecture. This approach is also noticeable in the upturned roofs and railings. Even the paintings which depict stories from, The Book of Mormon, are painted in an Eastern technique. The purpose of this was to match the Bay’s unique history and style.
Some residents in the Bay Area refer to the Oakland Temple as the “mormon temple” or “Oakland’s Disneyland”. Local members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints know it simply as the Oakland Temple, though members often refer to the complex of buildings as Temple Hill.
Now claiming the title, “Beacon of the Bay,” the Oakland Temple lights its way for many. It is a source of inspiration and hope to many members of the Church of Jesus Christ and friends alike. This temple has carved its mark into the Oakland history.
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