About Temple Hill
The Oakland Temple sits prominently on eighteen acres of the foothills of the Berkeley Hills overlooking Oakland, called Temple Hill. The white stone edifice rises 170 feet in the air, capped by a gold-colored central steeple, and four smaller ones at the corners. Before the temple, a fountain pours into an artificial creek, lined with gardens, running the length of walkways leading up to the temple steps. A terrace surrounds the temple, landscaped in flower beds, and commanding an imposing view of the city. The temple is visible throughout the city, and at night shines white in brilliant illumination.
The temple serves as a sacred house of worship for members of The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormons), where religious ceremonies are performed. The grounds also include a visitors center and the Eastbay Interstake Center Auditorium where conferences and pageants are held.
The temple was dedicated on November 17, 1964 by David O. McKay, fulfilling a vision spoken 40 years earlier by Church President George Albert Smith. While viewing Oakland from the Paramount Hotel in Oakland, he said: "I can almost see in vision a white temple of the Lord high upon those hills, an ensign to all the world travelers as they sail through the Golden Gate into this wonderful harbor." The property was purchased in 1942 and preliminary work began in 1955. The Interstake Center was completed in 1959 and work on the temple began in 1962.
Each year the Oakland Temple Pageant is presented in the Interstake Center Auditorium, a staged production accompanied by orchestra and a 450 voice choir.
On the two sides of the auditorium, hundreds of pipes of the 87 rank, 4 manual pipe organ stand in neat rows ranging from pencil-sized pipes to ones that reach nearly to the ceiling. The organ was built in 1960 by the Swain and Kates Company, enlarged in 1968, and rebuilt in 1995 by the Schoenstein Company. The 5000+ pipes produce a variety of sounds from a whisper to the power of a full orchestra.