In Provo, Utah, a new temple is rising, literally, on the site of a disaster. When a devastating fire ripped through the 112-year-old tabernacle in 2010, destroying its wooden interiors and steeples, community members mourned the loss of their historic house of worship. But with the building’s 7-million-pound stone shell still standing, a new plan was devised to transform its remains into a temple. Now the building’s skin, reinforced by shotcrete and steel beams, has been “lifted” 40 feet off the ground on steel and concrete piles.
The former church was gutted before construction crews began digging down to create space for a new, two-story basement, installing the stilts as they went so the building really hasn’t gone anywhere. “People are amazed when the see [the construction site],” project manager Andy Kirby told the Mormon Newsroom. ”They haven’t seen anything like it before. They just say it doesn’t look real and are just amazed that we can do that, that we can lift a building up with piles like that.” While the new foundation is already laid, the project is not set to be complete until 2015 considering the amount of restoration that needs to be done to return the temple to its former glory.