The Baha'i House of Worship was begun in the first quarter of the twentieth century and constructed over the period of about 50 years. Also known as the Baha'i Temple, the House of Worship is the center of the Baha'i Faith in North America. Built of white quartz aggregate concrete, its intricate ornament was produced with casting techniques nearly lost until Baha'i craftsmen began reviving them in their own workshops. Extensive research was conducted to enable the conservators to reproduce the complex concrete for repairs and now for the completion of unrealized intentions of the original architect and landscape architect.
Funded entirely by the Baha'i community, the restoration of the Temple, monumental stairs, terraces, fountains, and gardens is part of an ambitious plan to repair damage done by weather, preserve the beauty of the Temple, and realize the architect's original vision.
Trees, flowers, fountains, and other garden images and metaphors are commonly used in the Baha'i Writings. The nine-sided Temple is embraced symmetrically by nine gardens, each with a simple circular fountain and an avenue leading to the elevated terrace surrounding the Temple.
The orginal landscape architect Hilbert Dahl intended for the terrace wall to be made of ornamental white quartz concrete, similar to that which is on the Temple. Because the community was not able to execute this portion of his plan at the time, no design drawings were completed. Working with the Temple conservation teams, new panels have been designed, inspired by the beautiful designs on the Temple. The completed terrace wall will be some 900 feet in circumference.
From the terrace, one enjoys an uninterrupted view of the surrounding gardens, which will be newly restored following Hilbert Dahl's original planting designs. A new guardrail will be installed with a design slightly modified to meet the newer building code requirements. The new terrace deck, made of precast concrete pavers cast by the Baha'i Temple conservation staff, will provide a more attractive and durable walking surface surrounding the Temple monumental stairs.
Int the gardens, new ornamental concrete benches will provide further definition of the garden areas. The fountains are being completely rebuilt. Beneath the terrace, new vault spaces will provide space for mechanical equipment and fountain and irrigation systems.