Candace Moore Hill, a Baha’i who grew up in Oregon, recently published a photographic history of the Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette, IL. Baha’i Temple was published by Arcadia Publishing as part of its “Images of America” series. With 199 photographs, Hill artfully tells the story of the “Great Bell” of the North Shore and how it came to be.
Located 5 miles north of Chicago, the Baha’i Temple was created as a “Temple of Light” – open to people of all religions, all backgrounds and all walks of life. Its story begins in 1893 with the World’s Columbian Exposition, when news of the Baha’i Faith first reached American ears. Within 10 years, a small community of Baha’is had formed in Chicago. When they heard the news that the first Baha’i Temple was being built in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, they were inspired to seek permission to begin work on their own. For fifty years, the American Baha’is worked and saved – through the Great Depression and World War II – to complete the Temple. Finally in 1953 the completed Baha’i Temple was dedicated in Wilmette. The book includes photographs of every stage of construction as well as today’s ongoing restoration projects to preserve the beauty of the Temple.
Author Candace Moore Hill became a Baha’i while in high school in Coquille, OR. She saw many pictures of the Baha’i Temple as a youth and in 1983 moved to Wilmette to work in the administrative offices of the Baha’i National Center, a few blocks from the Temple. In her spare time, she served as a guide at the Temple and sang in the choir there. After discovering Arcadia books – photographic histories of local places – she decided to write a book about the Baha’i Temple. Baha’i Temple was released on August 23 and is now available through Arcadia Publishing. There’s also a set of 15 postcards with historical photos of the Temple.