Each temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has their own unique craftsmanship, so no two temples are exactly the same. The Manhattan, New York temple is unique because it was built from an existing building and the challenges of being in on a busy, New York street and the lighting of a large building.
The area of the Manhattan Temple was not always an upscale neighborhood, like it is today. The movie “The Westside Story” was filmed in the neighborhood that the temple is in today. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints bought the land for the Stake Center, the Lincoln Center came in and slowly the area started getting better.
Soundproofing the Temple
The Manhattan, New York Temple is in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world, and this caused some problems with the sounds of the streets getting into the buildings. The majority of the temples have land around it, which helps act as a barrier from the rest of the world. The Manhattan Temple does not have that same luxury, it has no land around it. You walk off the busy, New York Street right into the building the Temple is in.
Sound proofing the Manhattan, New York temple became one of the main objectives. There was a desire to make walking into the temple feel like a separation from the noisy world outside. The temple builders and designers worked hard to have this desired effect, and they made it work. They said that ”extensive design and construction techniques were created and implemented to create a building within a building. The interior walls were built within two layers of sheetrock plus twelve inches of dense insulation. The soundproof inner shell creates a quiet, serene atmosphere, where members can enjoy quiet reflection, unique in New York City.”
As you walk off the busy street in the middle of the city, you will feel an immediate difference. The temple is quiet and peaceful, and a large contrast from the rest of the world. The quietness of the temple serves as a sanctuary from the rest of the world.
Manhattan Temple Windows
Another problem, that needed to be solved was the lack of natural light. Most temples have big beautiful windows. The Manhattan, New York Temples windows were designed to make it look like the natural light throughout the building. The windows are specially made to capture and refract the light, to look like daylight all day long.
The way the architects made the “daylight look” happen is they took a Synthetic Venetian stained glass windows that are backlit by lights inserted between the inner and outer walls. This made the ”daylight” look happen all day long.
Questions to ask your family:
- The Temple architects made a special priority on soundproofing the New York Temple, in which ways has quiet times helped you focus on the Savior?
- How can you make your own quiet spaces to help you block out the noise of the world?
- Why would making the lights of the Manhattan, New York City Temple have an effect on what happened inside the temple?
- What things can we do in our daily lives to invite more of the light of Christ?
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References: “Temples of the New Millennium” by Chad S. Hawkins