The San Diego Mormon Temple bases its architecture on gothic roots; where the epitome of early gothic architecture is the Chartres Cathedral in France. The Mormon Temple is made of white aggregate stone and stucco, very angular and massive, built as a Gothic revival temple. Designed by William Lewis, Jr., the architect took into consideration Mormon temples in Salt Lake City and Washington, D.C. Hugely bulky at the base, the Mormon Temple rises from an enormous mound of earth, that conceals the lower floor. Built for the Mormons residing in Southern California, this temples marks the forty-fifth Mormon temple in the world. However, since its closing to the public in April 1993, only Mormons in "good standing" are now able to enter and use this massive structure. Situated in a suburban community of La Jolla/University City, the 59,000 square foot building is surrounded by shopping centers, residential areas and office buildings. There is no escaping the "angular, white monstrosity's" impact on the city. The gothic/space age temple capitalizes on an elevated sites that is close to the freeway, where thousands of motorists pass it daily.
The original Chartres Cathedral was designed by Fulbert and lasted until 1194, when a fire destroyed almost the entire church. The townspeople pulled together to make a large contribution to the reconstruction of the cathedral (Miller, Malcolm, Chartres Cathedral, Riverside Book Company, 1980, p.5). The present Chartres Cathedral is largely the work of the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. However, there are substantial remains of older monuments, notably in the crypt and on the wes...
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.... The rituals and ceremonies that occurred in that time, fit the design of the church. Similarly, the Mormon Temple's unusual shaped rooms and structures fits the uses intended for them by the Latter Day Saints. The San Diego Temple is not by any means a duplicate of the Chartres Cathedral. It merely borrowed some aesthetic features characteristic of the Gothic style of architecture. The Chartres Cathedral can be seen as the bridge between the early to high Gothic periods back in medieval times, a classic. The Mormon Temple, however, is only a conglomeration of architectural elements designed to meet the needs of the Latter Day Saints. It cannot be put in the same class as classical Cathedral of Chartres. The two churches, while both drawing attention to themselves, one does it in a classical way, the other, making a spectacle of itself. href=index.html> back to va11
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