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Friday, January 3, 2014

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No caffeine, no nicotine and no swearing. New Year’s resolutions? Maybe, but they are also the ground rules for construction workers building a new Mormon temple in Philadelphia.

The unlikely guidelines, which also include an option for daily prayer, are shepherding construction of the first Mormon temple in Pennsylvania, a project of the the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (LDS).

"There's no smoking or coffee drinking, and, obviously, no booze or anything like that on the site, at all," Pat Gillespie, business representative for the Philadelphia Building Trades Council, told

Added Steffanie Anderson, assistant regional director of LDS public affairs: "The reason is because it's holy ground."

Philadelphia Mormon Temple

Crews constructing the 53,000-square-foot Mormon temple in downtown Philadelphia aren't allowed caffeine, nicotine or curse words on site.

However, workers may go to a break area across the street if they need a caffeine or nicotine fix.

Prayer, Cookies Encouraged

At the construction site, each meeting with foremen and project managers starts with a review of the day's tasks and a prayer. Appointed temple minders watch over the meetings and are on site all the time to keep watch over the proceedings.

Praying is optional, but encouraged.

On the other hand, workers who resolved to diet in 2014 will have an even tougher time on the site, since free cookies are in abundance.

Alex and Pamela Carr bake 100 cookies every Wednesday for the workers. The couple has temporarily moved from Utah to Philadelphia for the temple's construction.

"I don't want to make it seem like it's a peculiar job," Gillespie told "It's a job with some unique requirements, but we're happy to accommodate. The construction workers are versatile and they can adapt.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says it's the cleanest construction site he's ever seen.

"This is what the customer wants, it's a sound request, and they're paying the bill. It's going to be a beautiful, beautiful building. This is phenomenal for the city."

Architectural Elements

The temple was designed with architectural elements to "complement the classic architecture exhibited in the neighboring buildings and throughout historic Philadelphia," according to LDS' website.

For example, the spires were designed to be reminiscent of the clock tower on Independence Hall.

The 53,000-square-foot building will sit on 1.6 acres and feature a granite exterior and stained glass along the length of the building.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says it's the cleanest construction site he's ever seen, several media outlets reported.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in September 2011, and construction is on schedule to be completed in 2016.


Tagged categories: Churches; Construction; Contracts; Project Management; Unions; Workers

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