Harrison New York Mormon Temple
The announcement by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to build a Mormon Temple in Harrison New York, took place in September 1995. The site chosen for the Mormon Temple is located on the corner of Kenilworth Road and Westchester Avenue in Harrison, New York, on 24 wooded acres. This Temple will be the 125th Temple for the Mormon Church and will be the third Temple in the state of New York.
After six years, construction has not begun. A concern from the Harrison Town Board over the height of the temple was the original problem. Zoning laws prohibited any building from being higher than 30 feet; the Mormon Temple was designed to be 44-feet high. Other concerns arose from the Harrison Town Board and have caused delays over the past six years, wherein, it has ended with Church lawyers and Board members meeting to compromise and hopefully coming to a decision.
The original plans for the Mormon Temple included a 97,000 square foot building, seating for 200, 198 parking places, a 44.7 foot high building, a steeple 115 feet high and additional structures. After a day-long meeting, an agreement was finally met, with the following compromises and stipulations made by the Mormon Church and the Harrison Town Board: a 28,400 square foot temple, 100 seats in the Temple, 100 parking spaces, a 34-foot high building, and a steeple that would be 105 feet. In addition, the Mormon Church was not allowed to build any additional structures on the property for 15 years after the Temple was officially opened.
However, on September 22, 2000, just a week before the Harrison decision, President Bill Clinton signed into law the “Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.” This ‘law prohibits local governments from using land use regulations to place a burden on the exercise of religion, unless there is a ‘compelling’ government interest.’ At this writing (June 2006), the Mormon Church has not pursued any further action.
The decision was made to build two smaller temples in Harrison New York and Boston (the Boston MA. Mormon Temple was dedicated in October 2000) to accommodate the expansion of Church membership in the area. With that, and with the opening of the Manhattan New York Temple in June of 2004, the Mormon ‘Church is waiting for the right time to build. That directive will come from the president [Thomas S. Monson] of the Church.’1
For more information on the Mormon Church or Mormon Temples, please see the following websites: