Plans Advance for Mormon Temple In Philly

The Mormon Church’s plans to build a temple near Logan Circle moved forward today, as a City Council committee approved legislation permitting the building’s height.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints plans to build a temple and neighboring meetinghouse at 17th and Vine streets – a project they estimate will cost about $70 million and yield hundreds of jobs.

The legislation must now earn final approval from Council.

Ahmad Corbitt, director of the church’s New York Office of Public and International Affairs, said there are about 40,000 Mormons living in the region, who would worship at the temple. Currently, the closest temples are in Washington, DC and New York City.

“Temples to the Latter-day Saints are very sacred,” Corbitt said. “This provides a very beautiful opportunity to us.”

Corbitt said the church would like to break ground on the project this year, with a goal of completion by 2013. Final designs are not yet finished, but Corbitt said the highest spire should be about 208 feet.

Corbitt said the church is in the process of buying the site, currently a parking lot owned by Logan Place Associates.