Mormon officials released architectural renderings Tuesday of a dazzling white granite temple--with a 91-foot tower--in Newport Beach as plans for the 17,500-square-foot building began city review.
The one-story Art Deco building will be accented with arches and elaborate window artwork. Towering over the 35-foot temple will be the 83-foot spire topped by an 8-foot golden statue of the angel Moroni, blowing his trumpet to "signify the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus."
"The spire is the very essence of the building itself," said Joseph Bentley, an Orange County church leader. "Its whole function is to symbolically raise man toward God. Without it, the whole significance of what happens inside is lost."
The golden angel spire is a standard feature on Mormon temples.
The building will be surrounded by 5.5 acres of gardens. The site will be next to the church's 28,500-square-foot Newport Beach meeting house on Bonita Canyon Drive and Prairie Road. For Mormons, the meeting house is where regular Sunday services and other events are held.