Bahai House of Workship, Illinois



The Bahá'í House of Worship (or Bahá'í Temple) in Wilmette, Illinois, is the oldest surviving Bahá'í House of Worship in the world, and the only one in the United States. The House of Worship is a domed structure surrounded by gardens and fountains on a 6.97 (2.82 ha) acre plot of land. The space between the floor of the auditorium and the ceiling of the dome measures 138 feet (42 m) high, and the interior of the dome is 72 feet (22 m) in diameter. The auditorium seats 1,191 people.

Since nine is the last number in the decimal system, Bahá'ís believe it symbolizes perfection and completion. Nine is also the value of the word Bahá (Arabic for "glory") in Abjad Numerology. Thus, many elements of the building occur in groups of nine. For example, there are nine entrances to the auditorium, nine interior alcoves, nine dome sections,and nine fountains in the garden area.