The Baha’i Temple is celebrating 100 years this weekend. The temple, located in Wilmette, opened in the 1950s. This celebration is of the laying of the cornerstone on May 1, 1912. Scott Conrad, who led a $20 million renovation, says the temple is open to visitors at all times, but on Sunday, a special effort will be made to inform visitors about the temple’s history.
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“On display [will be] historical items, architectural drawings as an example, and also images of what was the restoration, and all the team of people involved in completing the restoration will be over there to answer questions from Illinoisans about what we’ve been doing and why does it now look this way and where did all these fountains come from and things like that,” he said. There are only seven Baha’i temples in the world. This is the only one in the United States, and it is the oldest one still in use.
The temple is open to visitors at all times. Conrad says 95 percent of those who come are not members of the faith, but wish to use the grounds or the sanctuary for quiet contemplation or prayer. There is no charge for or expected donation from those who attend. Baha’is can take money for their costs only from members of the faith, and they are forbidden to prosthelytize in the temple.
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