WASHINGTON (WDVM) — The D.C. Temple is a building most of us have only ever seen from the outside — and it’s opening its doors for the very first time since renovations began in 2018.

Global church leaders and members of the media were allowed inside on Monday for the first time in years. Soon, after years of renovations, hundreds of thousands of visitors will also be invited to take a tour.

“Since 1974, this incredible temple, with its beautiful towering spires, has been an iconic landmark in the Maryland skyline along the Capital Beltway,” Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said.

Now, nearly 50 years later, the temple the community knows and loves is opening its doors once again. It may look a bit different now, but the sentiment is still the same.

“Ask your neighbors and your friends about what this Washington, D.C. temple means to them… Listen as they tell you about community, communion,” Elder Gerrit W. Gong said.

“It’s a testament to the architects, the craftspeople, the laborers, whose hands built it some fifty years ago and whose hands restored its beauty… so it can once again open its doors to all humankind,” Reverend Amos C. Brown said.

During the renovations, the temple received upgrades to its mechanical system and had finishings and furnishings refreshed.

Over 750,000 people visited the temple in 1974. Thousands more are expected to visit this summer as the temple is only typically open to members.

“We don’t want to keep people out… but it takes a special journey to be here,” Sister Reina Aburto said.

Get your tickets now; the open house begins on April 28 and runs through June 4.