Oakland California Temple

Oakland California Temple

Oakland California Temple
Number 13
Dedication 17 November 1964 (17 November 1964) by
David O. McKay
Site 18.3 acres (7.4 hectares)
Floor area 95,000 sq ft (8,800 m2)
Height 170 ft (52 m)
Preceded by London England Temple
Followed by Ogden Utah Temple
Official websiteNews & images

The Oakland California Temple (formerly the Oakland Temple) is the 15th constructed and 13th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The temple was announced on May 26, 1962, and dedicated on November 19, 1964, by David O. McKay.


  • Physical description 1
  • History 2
    • Presidents 2.1
  • And it Came to Pass Pageant 3
  • Other buildings on site 4
  • Organizations 5
  • Gallery 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Physical description

The Oakland California Temple

Located in the city of Oakland, California, at 4770 Lincoln Ave, it is the only LDS temple built with a modern five-spire design and exhibits an Oriental motif. Its architect was Harold W. Burton.[1] The exterior of the temple is reinforced concrete faced with sierra white granite from Raymond, California. On the north and south faces of the temple are two decorative friezes; it is the last LDS temple to have such. The back (south side) is a depiction of Christ descending from heaven to the people of the American continent soon after his resurrection in the Holy Land. The front (north side) illustrates Christ preaching his gospel to the people. Within the front garden courtyard there is a statue of children in front of a bronze plaque bearing a scripture from 3 Nephi chapter 17, from the Book of Mormon, relating how Christ blessed the children during his visit to the people of ancient America.

The temple sits on a prominent site in the Oakland hills and has become a local landmark. Through the front courtyard are stairways which lead to the temple terrace situated above the ground floor of the temple. From the temple grounds and terrace are spectacular views of the Bay Area, including downtown Oakland, the Bay Bridge, Yerba Buena Island, downtown San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. The grounds are accented by flowers, palm trees, and a formal-style man-made river running from one fountain to the other.

The temple was built on an 18.3-acre (74,000 m2) plot, has four ordinance rooms, seven sealing rooms, and has a total floor area of 95,000 square feet (8,800 m2).[2]

The visitors' center has free tours around the grounds and atop the temple daily.


The temple and Oakland at sunset

The building of the Oakland Temple, as well as other temples in California was planned as early as 1847. The Mormons who had traveled by ship around Cape Horn to California were told by Brigham Young that "in the process of time, the shores of the Pacific may yet be overlooked from the Temple of the Lord."[3]

The temple at Christmas

The site where the Oakland Temple now stands was inspected by David O. McKay, then second counselor in the First Presidency, in 1942. The 14.5 acres (59,000 m2) were purchased by the church on January 28, 1943.[4] Ground was broken for the temple in 1962.[5]


Notable presidents of the temple have included Lorenzo N. Hoopes (1985–90) and Durrel A. Woolsey (1996–99).

And it Came to Pass Pageant

In the nearby Interstake Center, local members performed a Latter-day Saint pageant (an annual theatrical production) for many years. The pageant, commonly known as the "Temple Pageant," was a musical stage production rehearsing the history and legacy of the LDS Church. It was one of only a few "temple pageants" around the country; others include the Easter Pageant in Mesa, Arizona, and the Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti, Utah. Until its retirement, it was the only such pageant performed indoors as well as the only one to be fully accompanied by a live orchestra. Initially, the pageant consisted of three acts performed over three consecutive nights; however, it was eventually shortened to an hour and a half.[6][7][8] In November 2007, a letter sent to stake and mission presidents in the region from D. Todd Christofferson, then of the Presidency of the Seventy, indicated that the pageant would no longer be held.

Other buildings on site

A map of the grounds of the Oakland California LDS Temple.

The temple is not the oldest building of the LDS Church at the site. The Interstake Center dates from the 1950s. This building was originally referred to as the Tristake Center, serving the needs of the San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley stakes.[9] This building includes two chapels for sacrament meetings, an auditorium, a gymnasium and several classrooms and offices.

The auditorium seats 1,600 people and has a 60-foot (18 m) stage. Besides the three resident organizations and the temple pageant, many Brigham Young University performing arts groups have performed in the auditorium.[10]

The site has a visitors center that was opened in 1992. There is also a Family History Center, an LDS Employment Center, an LDS Distribution Center and the headquarters of the California Oakland–San Francisco Mission.[9] In addition, a small memorial to the Brooklyn is located to the side of the property.


The Temple Hill Symphony Orchestra was formed in 1985. It has 52 members, about a third of whom are not Latter-day Saints. It has other sponsors besides the LDS Church and is a non-profit organization that offers free concerts. It is currently directed by John Pew.[11]

There is also a Temple Hill Public Affairs Council which seeks to use the resources on the location to raise awareness of the LDS Church and its mission. As of 2007, it was directed by Lorenzo Hoopes.[9]

The Temple Hill Choir and Behold Dance Collective—The Temple Hill Dance Company are also based here.[12][13]


See also


  1. ^ Candland, Evelyn (1992), An Ensign to the Nations: History of the Oakland Stake, Oakland, CA: Oakland California Stake, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,  
  2. ^ Satterfield, Rick, "Oakland California Temple", LDSChurchTemples.com 
  3. ^ McKay, David O. (November 17, 1964), "Oakland California Temple: We invoke Thy blessing particularly upon Thy people in this temple district",  
  4. ^ LDS Church Almanac: 2008 Edition, 2007, p. 550 
  5. ^  
  6. ^ Rott, Dale (Summer 2005), "Intersections Between Theatre and the Church in the United States: 1930-1990" (PDF),  
  7. ^ Ghaznavi, Shanna (July 1999), "Stars under the Sky",  
  8. ^ Rees, Bridget (June 5, 2007). "LDS Pageants".  
  9. ^ a b c Hill, Greg (Sep 15, 2007), "Oakland's Temple Hill—A beacon for members", Church News 
  10. ^ "Contact & Temple Grounds", thchoir.org (Temple Hill Choir) 
  11. ^ Haddock, Sharon (June 17, 2010), "The 586-mile commute of an orchestra director",  
  12. ^ "About Us", templehillevents.com (Temple Hill Events) 
  13. ^ "Tapestry Performance", beholddance.org (Behold Dance Collective) 

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
  • Official Oakland California Temple page
  • The Oakland California Temple on ldschurchtemples.com