Olympia Washington

Joseph: The capital city of Washington never gets any love. It’s a pariah compared to its greedy Puget Sound siblings of Seattle and Tacoma. But there is good reason to think that the sleepy hippy town at the bottom of the Sound is a strong case for a new House of the Lord.

While some temple prognosticators (it’s a niche market) think Tacoma is the obvious pick, I disagree. Besides, Tacoma has a port and a cool glass museum, so it already has its thing. And everyone knows you don’t want the peace of your Celestial Room ponderings interrupted by the noise of sea traffic, collapsing bridges, or the famous Tacomaroma.

More than a temple just for Olympia or Tacoma, a temple along the south end of the Puget Sound could be more convenient for the communities on the Olympic Penninsula as well. I dare say, even as far north as the stake in Port Angeles, which is full of Vampires, or so one Mormon has made millions telling other people is the case.

At least 10 stakes (and as many as 13) would be logistically reliable in an Olympia temple district, which in today’s temple trends, is more than enough for a small-market house of worship. And potentially one or two stakes from the Portland temple district could be lobbed off, making it a satisfying 15 stakes. Indeed, a temple on Interstate 5 near Olympia is a solid offering for convenience to road-wary temple attendees scattered throughout far western and southwestern Washington state.

Watershed park near the Hilton Garden Inn makes for a convenient location on a bluff overlooking I-5, and could be fitting since the other place where a temple is a sudden and spectacular vision while being stuck in freeway traffic is in a place also named Washington.

Geoff: Hi. Native Californian here. While I live in DC now and fully embrace the dramatic appearance of the Washington DC Temple from the Capital Beltway (only if coming down the Outer Loop), I am also intimately familiar with the San Diego California Temple, which sits right next to that same Interstate 5 and even looms large over a significant shopping center on the other side of the freeway. The “reveal,” as it were, is not as impressive as that of DC, but let’s not pretend DC and whatever this Olympia nonsense is has the market cornered on dramatic temple reveals!

I’m not sure that your argument for the fine folks of the Olympic Peninsula holds water. The communities more immediately west of Olympia would obviously benefit from a shorter drive than to Tacoma, but as for the Port Angeles stake, it’s a shorter drive from the top of the peninsula along the western shore of the Sound and to Tacoma than it would be to Olympia.

Tacoma might deserve some love because of how many members there are in the Bremerton area, especially military. And while the Vancouver, Washington area has five stakes, there’s zero reason to yank those from the Portland Oregon temple district, so you’re really only looking at nabbing one or two stakes south of Olympia.

I mean, it’s a nice idea and all, but if Washington is getting another temple, I think I’ll give the edge to Tacoma. It’s only about 30 mins from Olympia to Tacoma, and more people would benefit from the Tacoma location than Olympia. Regardless, anecdotal evidence suggests the Seattle temple is underused, so why put in a second temple at all?