Early Sketches And Architectural Drawings Of William Weeks

Don F. Colvin, “Early Sketches And Architectural Drawings Of William Weeks,” in Nauvoo Temple: A Story of Faith (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, 2002), 167–77.

Chapter 7Williams Weeks, an early convert to Mormonism, was selected as the architect for the Nauvoo Temple. As part of a family of builders, he had acquired skills in the architecture of New England while working with his father. Examination of his work indicates that he was an architect of the Greek Revivalist school. The excellence of his drawings demonstrates both skill and competence. Laurel B. Andrew, after studying his sketches, observed: “The evolution of the Nauvoo Temple as seen in these drawings offers a unique opportunity to study the coming of age of a frontier builder-architect as he worked towards a satisfactory accommodation of architectural tradition with a desire for original expression. Weeks’s designs demonstrate his familiarity with the traditions of New England, but they also record the influx of modern ideas from the 1840s as transmitted primarily through the medium of architectural hand books. His final plans do not depend on a specific source and are novel in their adaptation of architectural motifs. They demonstrate by comparison with the earlier plans a greater proficiency in handling the architectural vocabulary. [1]

A number of William Weeks’s temple drawings still exist in the possession of the Church and are available for careful study or examination. Though some are preliminary sketches, they still furnish valuable insights into the size and features of the building. By permission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they have been reproduced in this book. Several of the drawings have been used throughout the text and are found in chapters 2, 4, 6, and 8.

Chapter 2. A Six-Year Building Program

Figure 2.1 Drawing of Temple from Hill’s Map of Nauvoo.

Figure 2.2 Architectural Drawing No. 1 of Nauvoo Temple.

Figure 2.3 Architectural Drawing No. 2 of Nauvoo Temple

Chapter 4. Purposes and Functions of The Temple

Figure 4.2 Stone Baptismal Font.

Figure 4.3 Cross-Sectional Design of Stone Baptismal Font.

Chapter 6. Exterior Features

Figure 6.11 Cornice Area and Eaves of the Building.

Figure 6.14 Drawing of Palladian or Venetian Windows for the East End of the Building.

Chapter 8. Interior Features

Figure 8.8 Drawing of Support Columns.

Figure 8.9 Wood Paneling under Windows.

Figure 8.10 Drawing of Inside Wood Casements around Main Windows.

Additional Nauvoo Temple architectural drawings are included on the pages that follow

Cross Sectional View

Stone Coursing



Angel 2



Circular Stairwell

Southeast Stairwell


[1] Laurel B. Andrew, The Early Temples of the Mormons (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1978), 62.