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|1953 2 May
||The House of Worship in Wilmette, the Mother Temple of the West, was dedicated in a public ceremony. [BW12:142, BWNS218]
For the text of the Guardian’s message of dedication see BW12:141–2.
For an account of the event see BW12:154–63.
See The Bahá'í Faith 1844-1952 Information Statistical & Comparative p24-26 for project statistics and a chronology of events.
Towards the end of his life in Tehran, Ahmad (of "Tablet of Ahmad" fame) had entrusted the original Tablet to his grandson Jamal who in turn, out of the purity of his heart and his devotion to the Faith of God offered it as a gift to Hand of the Cause, Trustee of Huqúq, the son and brother of two illustrious martyrs, Jinab-i-Valiyu'llah Varqá. When Jinab-i-Varqa, according to the instructions of the beloved Guardian, was sent to take part in this dedication ceremony he brought this most precious Tablet as his offering to the archives of the Bahá'ís of the United States. [A Flame of Fire by A.Q. Faizi.]
See the message of the Universal House of Justice dated 1 August, 2014 for more on the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár in Wilmette.
See the video The Temple History Design and Construction.
Location: Wilmette, Illinois, U.S. Cook County
Administration: On the same day as the internment of the sacred remains of the Báb on Mount Carmel, March 21st, 1909, the first American Bahá'í Convention opened in Chicago. The Convention established the 'Bahá'í Temple Unity', incorporated to hold title to the Temple property and to provide for its construction. A constitution was framed and an Executive Board of the Bahá'í Temple Unity elected. This body became the future National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada. [BBD39; BBRSM:106; BW10:179; GPB349; PP397; SBBH1:146; BFA2:XVII, 309; BW13:849; MBW142–3]
Foundation Stone: by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, 1 May, 1912
Construction Period:The purchase of the site completed: 1914. Design Chosen: 1920. Superstructure: 1921 – 1 May 1931. External Ornamentation: June 1932 -1943. Interior: 1951
Dedication: 1 May 1953
Architects: Louis Bourgeois with Alfred Shaw (interior cladding) Bourgeois became a Baha’i in New York City in 1907, and two years later responded to the call for designs for the Temple. In 1920, delegates from across the country unanimously selected his innovative design. Bourgeois traveled to Haifa to consult with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. With ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s encouragement, Bourgeois refined and scaled down the size of his design. [The House of Worship Architecture]
Seating: 1,191 [DP220]
Dimensions:203ft at the base and 49ft high
Cost: $2.6 million (another source) $51,500 (land) plus $3,212,517.60 (construction costs 1921-1953)
Dependencies: Construction of a home for the aged was began in December, 1957 and inaugurated on 1 February, 1959. It is located about three blocks away.
Note: In GPB349 Shoghi Effendi states that “…this enterprise—the crowning achievement of the Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in the first Bahá’í century…”.
References: CEBF236-241,GPB348-353, MDM121-239, The Dawning Place, The Bahá'í Faith 1844-1963 Information Statistical & Comparative p36-37.
|Wilmette; United States
||Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Mother Temples; Lawh-i-Ahmad (Tablet of Ahmad (Arabic)); Gifts; Archives; Dedications; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Quick facts; Alfred Shaw; Architects; Bahai home for the aged; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Dependencies of; BWNS; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Shoghi Effendi, Life of
|1961 15 Jan
||The House of Worship in Kampala, the Mother Temple of Africa, is officially opened by Hand of the Cause Rúhíyyih Khánum in a public service attended by 1,500 people. [BW13:715–18; MoC15]
For message of the Custodians to the dedication service see MoC2503.
For cable of the Custodians to the Bahá’ís of the world see MoC253.
Location:Northern Kampala, on Dikaaya Hill in Kawempe Division.
Foundation Stone: 26 Jan 1958 (Beneath the stone is a silver box containing the sacred earth from the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh and a wooden box containing a piece of the plaster from the Prison Fortress of Máh-Kú where the Báb had been incarcerated.)
Construction Period: Land purchased: 20 April 1954, January 1958 – 14 January 1961
Site Dedication: 14 January 1961 (Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum brought a gift from the Guardian- a carpet from the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh was hung on the inside of the door facing the Qiblih.)
Architect: Charles Mason Remey
Seating:Over 400 (800 for Dedication ceremony)
Dimensions: Dome at its base-44ft. Diameter of inner floor-84ft. Circumference: 265ft yielding 5,550 sq ft of floor space. Height of the building-124ft.
Cost: $ ? (initial budget was 42,00 Pounds Sterling)
References: BW13p704-719, CEBF241, CG45
||Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Mother Temples; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Quick facts; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kampala; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Dedications; Architects; Gifts; Boxes containing dust, earth or plaster; Bahaullah, Shrine of; Mah-Ku; - Basic timeline, Expanded
|1961 17 Sep
||The House of Worship in Sydney, the Mother Temple of the Antipodes, was officially opened by Hand of the Cause Rúhíyyih Khánum in two public services, each attended by 900 people. [BW13:732]
For message of the Custodians to the dedication service see MoC309–12.
For cable of the Custodians to the Bahá’ís of the world see MoC313.
Location:Sydney, Australia (Ingleside on the MonaVale Road).
Foundation Stone: 26 Jan 1958 (Clara Dunn and Hand of the Cause Charles Mason Remey, who had been designated by the Guardian as his representative, while attending the 2nd International Conference 21-24 March, 1958. A small bag of earth from the inner Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh and a piece of plaster from the room of the Báb in Máh-Kú was deposited under the floor.)
Construction Period: 1957-1961
Site Dedication:16 September 1961 (Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum brought a gift from the Guardian- a green silk carpet from the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh.)
Architect C.M. Remey
Dimensions: 124ft at the base and 130ft high
Cost: Original budget was 120,000 Pounds Sterling
References: BW13:319-322, BW13p720-732 CEBF241
||Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Mother Temples; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Quick facts; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Sydney; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Dedications; Clara Dunn; Charles Mason Remey; Architects; Boxes containing dust, earth or plaster; Bahaullah, Shrine of; Mah-Ku; Gifts; - Basic timeline, Expanded
|1964 4 Jul
||The House of Worship in Langenhain, Germany, the Mother Temple of Europe, was dedicated. [BW14:483–4]
For the message of the Universal House of Justice see BW14:485–6.
For pictures see BW14:482, 483, 485, 491.
For a description of the teaching conference accompanying the dedication see BW14:586–8.
See also MC14–15; PP432–4.
See this brief film on Vimeo on the life of Anneliese Bopp and her part in the building of this Temple.
Location: Frankfurt, Germany (near the village of Langenhain in the Taunus Hills)
Foundation Stone: 20 November 1960 by Hand of the Cause Amelia Collins representing the World Centre. She placed Sacred Dust from the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh in the foundations.
Construction Period: 1960-1964
Site Dedication:4 July 1964 Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum represented the Universal House of Justice.
Architect: Teuto Rocholl (plans approved by Shoghi Effendi)
Seating:450 – 600
Dimensions: Diameter at the base: 158ft, Inner diameter: 23m (69ft), Inner height of the dome: 24m (72ft). Height 20.5m (93ft)
Dependencies: A home for the aged.
Note: The construction of this temple was delayed by legal roadblocks instigated by church opposition, both Protestant and Catholic.
References: BW14p483, BW14p483-484, BW18p104, CEBF241
|Langenhain; Frankfurt; Germany; Europe
||Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Mother Temples; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Quick facts; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Langenhain; Amelia Collins; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Teuto Rocholl; Architects; Opposition; Boxes containing dust, earth or plaster; Gifts; Bahaullah, Shrine of; - Basic timeline, Expanded
|1972 29 Apr
||The House of Worship in Panama, the Mother Temple of Latin America, was dedicated in a series of ceremonies held throughout the day attended by Hands of the Cause Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum, Ugo Giachery and Dhikru’lláh Khádem and four thousand Bahá’ís. [BW15:634; VV14]
For the history of the House of Worship see BW15:643–6.
For statistics on the House of Worship see BW15:647–9.
Location:Panama City, Panama (On the Cerro Sonsonate (Singing Hill), a few miles north of Panama City)
Foundation Stone: 8 October 1967 (Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum)
Construction Period: 1969-1972
Site Dedication: 29 April, 1972 (Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum)
Architect: Peter Tillotson
References: BW14p493, BW15p632-649
|Panama City; Panama
||Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Mother Temples; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Quick facts; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Panama; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Dedications; Ugo Giachery; Dhikrullah Khadem; Peter Tillotson; Architects; - Basic timeline, Expanded
|1984 1 Sep
||The House of Worship in Apia, Western Samoa, the Mother Temple of the Pacific, was dedicated in the presence of Hand of the Cause of God Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum, Hand of the Cause Dr Ugo Giachery, His Highness Malietoa Tanumafili II and more than a thousand Bahá’ís from 45 countries. [BW19:100–1; VV64]
For a report of the dedication see BW19:552–3.
For the text of the address of His Highness Malietoa Tanumafili II see BW19:556.
For pictures see BW19:553 and VV64.
Marble for the House of Worship was cut and chiseled by Margraf, a firm from Chiampo, Italy formerly known as Industria Marmi Vincentini. [BWNS1223]
Location: Apia, Samoa (9km south of the city)
Foundation Stone: Laid by Malietoa Tanumafili II and Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum on 27 January 1979. She placed a small casket of Dust from the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh in a niche in a stone.
Site Dedication:1 September 1984
Seating: 500 - 700
Dimensions:Top of the dome to ground: 28m (92ft)
References: BW16p488-489, BW17p371-374, BW18p104, 585-588, BW19p547-557,
|Apia; Samoa; Pacific; Chiampo; Italy
||Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Ugo Giachery; Malietoa Tanumafili II of Western Samoa; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Mother Temples; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Quick facts; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Apia; Dedications; Marble; Husayn Amanat; Malietoa Tanumafili II of Western Samoa; Architects; Boxes containing dust, earth or plaster; Gifts; Bahaullah, Shrine of; BWNS; - Basic timeline, Expanded
|1986 24 Dec
||The House of Worship in New Delhi, the Mother Temple of the Indian Subcontinent, was dedicated in the presence of Hand of the Cause Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum and more than 8,000 Bahá’ís from 114 countries. [AWH47; BINS161; BW19:102 BW20p732-733, VV92]
See VV93–4 for pictures.
Marble for the House of Worship was cut and chiseled by Margraf, a firm from Chiampo, Italy formerly known as Industria Marmi Vincentini. [BWNS1223]
Location: New Delhi, India (Bahapur (Abode of Light))
Foundation Stone: 17 October 1977 (Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum)
Construction Period: April 1980 - December 1986
Site Dedication:24 December 1986 (Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum placed a silver casket containing Dust from the Shrines of Bahá’u’lláh and the Báb into the crown of the Prayer Hall arch facing ‘Akká)
Architect/Project Manager: Fariburz Sahbá
Dimensions:Inner buds are 34.3m high, the outer leaves are 15.4m wide and 22.5m high.
References: BW16p486-487, BW17p368-370, BW18p103-104, 571-584, BW19p559-568, BW20p731-753
|New Delhi; India; Chiampo; Italy
||Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Mother Temples; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Quick facts; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Delhi; Lotus temple; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Dedications; Marble; Fariburz Sahba; Architects; Boxes containing dust, earth or plaster; Gifts; Bahaullah, Shrine of; Bab, Shrine of; BWNS; - Basic timeline, Expanded
|2016 13 - 16 Oct
||The public dedication of the Mother Temple of South America in Santiago, Chile. The opening ceremonies were attended by over 5,000 people from 110 countries. Live video coverage of the public opening ceremony was provided on the Bahá'í World News Service website for approximately 90 minutes and the video recording has been made available at that website.
The Mashriqul-Adhkár (Dawning-Point of God’s Remembrance) is located outside of Santiago in Peñalolen, a commune whose name means "reunion of brothers" in the local language. [BWNS1128].
The temple was built in the foothills of the Andes, between mountains and city. The 2,415 square-metre edice (26,000-square-feet) is essentially one large room with nine doors made of bronze. The interior is surrounded by a dome that is made up of nine elements – called petals. These begin wide at the bottom of the building and then narrow upward to meet in a spiral at the top, separated by crescent-shaped windows and a round window at the top. The outer surfaces of these petals are made of 32-millimetre-thick panels of cast glass, which have a ruddy, milky quality to them; the inner surfaces are made of smooth Portuguese marble. Both layers are translucent.
Each of the nine wings of the building has two surfaces – one of cast glass and one of stone both of which rest on the steel structure. Each of those two surfaces has more than 1,000 separate components in more than 150 different shapes categorized as droops, slumps, bullnoses, shoulders, elbows, or spines. Each piece, which had to be crafted in three dimensions, was shaped using digital models. [BWNS1126]
Canadian architect, Siamak Hariri, began work on the $20-million project in 2003. [BWNS1127] The landscape architect was Juan Grimm, one of the most well-known landscapers of Latin America.
The Universal House of Justice was represented by Counsellor Antonella Demonte from the International Teaching Centre.
Message from the Universal House of Justice.
Location: Santiago, Chile
Construction Period: 2013 – October 2016
Site Dedication:13-16 October 2016
Architect: Siamak Hariri
Landscape Architect: Juan Grimm
Dimensions:2,415 square-metre (26,000 square-feet)
Cost: approximately $30m
Since its dedication in October 2016, the Temple has been a recipient of an International Architecture Award as well as awards for structural artistry from the Institution of Structural Engineers, for innovation in architecture from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, for innovation from the American Institute of Architects, for design excellence from the Ontario Association of Architects, for “Best in Americas, Civil Buildings,” from World Architecture News, and for Architectural and Cultural design from American Architecture Prize. [BWNS1262]
- The Temple design won the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) International Prize. This renowned prize is awarded every two years and was created to celebrate socially transformative, respectful, uplifting and inclusive architecture. [FloorNature site.]
- This site states that since the opening some 1.4 million people have visited. Some weekend have had up to 36,000 visitors.
- This site has some spectacular photographs.
- The announcement that Hariri Pontarini Architects had won the prize on the 25th of October, 2019.
||Mashriqul-Adhkar, Santiago; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Mother Temples; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Quick facts; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Siamak Hariri; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Architecture; Awards; Architects; Juan Grimm; Counsellors; Marble; Gardens; BWNS; Dedications; - Basic timeline, Expanded