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My Little Corner of the Net

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Utah Summer Road Trip

On our summer road trip this year, I was once again reminded of the importance of architectural models and miniatures.  Not only are they beautiful, but they also help others understand the size, shape, scale, and proportions that are sometimes hard to see in drawings and photographs.

This first model is located inside the South Visitor's Center at Temple Square in Salt Lake City Utah.  It is a cut-away scale model of the famous Salt Lake Temple.  The actual Temple can be seen behind the model through large windows.  This model of the Mormon Temple is built at 1:32 scale.

I came across the photo below on the website of the architecture firm that was commissioned to build the model.  It shows the size of the model.

This photo below shows how the some of the floor levels relate to each other and how the model builder chose to represent the "structure" of the building and it's solid stone construction.  It took the members of the church 40 years to build the temple and it was completed in 1893.  The model was completed in 2010 and took 5 months to complete.

A touch screen video display near the model explains the purpose of each of the rooms.  The model contains miniature versions of the hand painted wall murals inside and symbolic details carved into the exterior of the temple, as well as miniature reproductions of all of the light fixtures.

These close ups show some of the detail in each of the rooms.  The top two floors contain an assembly room and contains a balcony.  In the basement is a large baptismal font that rests on the back of 12 oxen representing the 12 Tribes of Israel.

Part of our journey took us to a small town in Southern Utah called Parowan.  Some of my ancestors help build this  community.  This small model was at a museum there and represents how the city was started with large walls around it.  It was also amazing to meet someone at the museum who knew my Great Grandparents and steered me to a photograph of my grandfather at a WWII display at the museum.

This next model below was at the North Visitor Center at Temple Square in Salt Lake City Utah.  It is a scale model of the city of Jerusalem around the time of Jesus Christ it covers 14 square feet and boasts over 4,000 buildings and structures.

It is an interactive model and and as you walk around and read about each building, you can press a button and a small light will highlight that part of the model.

The large structure on the hill is the Temple 

We came across this last model in the Church History Museum at Temple Square in Salt Lake City.  It is a model of Salt Lake City early in its history.  Salt Lake City is known for it's ease of directions and laid out on grid of streets with a North and South axis and naming system.


  1. What fabulous scale models. Seeing the model of the Salt Lake Temple you really can appreciate the size of the original. The baptismal font is really interesting. It is great you met someone at Parowan that knew you grandparents and could point you to items of interest. Thank you for sharing the photos.

  2. Hello Troy,
    what amazing exhibits you saw. The skill that went into these models is amazing. The first pictures of the temple just blew me away. Thank you for sharing your wonderful pictures.
    Big hug,

  3. Enjoyed this post! I love seeing what can be done with miniatures outside of the norm. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Wow, Troy, these models are all Fascinating!!! I am the kind who reads every tablet and pushes every button! LOL! I also love maps so your three-dimensional historical city and town-scapes are soooo tempting... I wish I could see them close up! You really have seen a lot on your travels this summer! Thanks for sharing these pictures! They really are fascinating!

  5. Hello Troy, I like those interactive models. The city of Jerusalem model is amazing, the size of the model makes it even more amazing. The people who made these models have some amazing miniature making skills.
    gr. AM

  6. Hi Troy, love the model. I am always drawn to models of buildings when I see them too.

  7. I really like your new decorative designs! it's so beautiful so much and good idea on site.