The first Mormon Temple in Philadelphia (and Pennslyvania) will be open for public tours this summer before it officially opens on September 18. From August 5 to September 3, members of the public will be able to take free tours of the actual temple located at 1739 Vine Street. It will be the only time that non-church members will be allowed to enter the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple—only "members in good church standing" will be able to enter the premises after it has been dedicated, according to an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Construction of the temple is nearing completion after breaking ground on September 27, 2011. Designed by the Atlanta-based architecture firm Perkins+Will, the granite building sits on 1.6 acres and clocks in at 53,000 square feet. Certain exterior details are specific to Philadelphia, including the spires, which are designed to mimic the clock tower at Independence Hall.
Although the temple will be reserved for church members come September 18, the meetinghouse across the street will open to the public. It will feature a chapel, family history center, cultural center, and an outdoor courtyard. On the same site will be a 32-story residential tower designed by BLT Architects and Robert A.M. Stern, which will feature 258 apartments, 13 townhouses, and street-level retail.