Oh, even though I'm a neverMo - or maybe just because of that - I love the SLT! And also the Manti - both remind me of old cathedrals and I love to look at pictures of them. Much prettier than most of the new ones!
I'm sorry, I don't mean this to offend but, as an art historian with a particular concentration on the Middle Ages, I have to say that your visual acumen on diserning a cathedral aesthetic is severely lacking. )LOL)
Also, the early temple architects learned their trade studying the architecture of Europe, so it is no surprise that there would be battlements. Especially when you look at all the battles in the BoM!!
This is from wikipedia describing the Salt Lake Temple:
Castle-like battlements surround the temple symbolizing a separation from the world and a protection of the holy ordinances from the outside world. At the base of each buttress is an earthstone. Earthstones represent the Earth, the "footstool of God". The earth itself is in a telestial state, but will transition into a terrestrial state with the coming of the Millennium, and finally will receive Celestial glory at the end of the one thousand years.
My one regret about my TBM days is never making it to the live sessions at SLC and Manti. So I have no first-hand knowledge of their interiors other than photos. However, ignorance is no excuse for not having an opinion, so I will go on record as saying that Manti seems at least more interesting than the cookie-cutter banality of the McTemples. There seems to be a sense of craftsmanship and pride in work lacking in the new, mass-produced ones.
I always liked the Manti temple because it had benches instead of movie theater seats. I could lay my temple packet on the bench and it would stay there. With the fold up seat it would fold up as soon as you stood up, I would lay my packet on the seat edge and it would fall on the floor. At the Manti temple you didn't have that problem and you had lot's of leg room.
I live in Europe and have traveled the world. Seen a lot of cathedrals and other holy meeting places in my time.
But when I see a Mormon Temple? 1st thought is not "that must be a house of God" but rather, what is that 1950s programatic or 1930 industrial architecture building doing THERE???!!
Now, this is not to say I find them ugly, just not cathedral-like. I happen to like all sorts of different building styles. And who am I, anyway?
I myself live temporarily in a hybrid whackjob of a 30s city townhouse building, apparently redone in the 70s (badly), then "updated" in the 90s, where IKEA has thrown up all over the inside and the landlord clearly has never lived---or wanted to.
I have heard other noMos of my aquaintance say temple buildings remind them of public railway station buildings, a public library, or a boy's indsutrial or reform school building/campus.
We have, admittedly, not seen ALL of the temples, only midwest and East Coast US buildings in person, and lots of pictures of SLC and other Utah temple building online and in books.
But you know, there are certainly plenty of other ugly or confused/badly designed or constucted church buildings out there, representing all faiths and denominations.