Prepare to feel exalted when passing through either of the two entrances of the Salt Lake City Public Library system’s Main Library located at 210 East and 400 South in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Stepping into the foyer named the Urban Room is akin to being a dust mote drifting through the fine, cut crystal of a Waterford chandelier. In a transcendent summer moment you are illuminated and surrounded by shafts of light. In winter, it is a subdued and comforting light to combat the cold-weather blues.
Taking in the four glass-walled floors, your gaze soars to the dazzling skylight.
This is an invigorating place. It is impossible to express the completely organic and utterly sublime nature of this stunning building. It has to be experienced.
The glorious outside
Walking around the library it looks like a different building from each side. This is due to the bold, geometric shapes used by the architects Moshe Safdie and Associates and VCBO Architecture.
As succinctly described on the Architectural Record website, there is a five-story, triangular-shaped main building, rectangular adjacent administrative wing and a crescent wall encloses these shapes. The southern facade is a wall of glass forming a lens shape.
Due to the use of glass walls, the inside four floors all are open and inviting. The four levels of the crescent wall are loaded with comfortable reading galleries enjoying both city life and mountain views.
As pointed out on the Salt Lake City Public Library system’s website (the system is also known as The City Library) by design the more active and noisier areas are lower down. It gets quieter as you go up until on the fifth level it is as quiet as … a library.
An outdoor surprise
From the fifth floor inside and the outside, curving stairway you can ascend to the rooftop garden that has a 360 degree view of the Salt Lake Valley, if you meander enough.
Patronage highlights value to community
With 140,000 registered card holders able to enjoy full use of this magnificent monument to freely-accessible knowledge, and it’s numerous, affiliated branch libraries, it is small wonder that The City Library is the second biggest attraction in the state of Utah. The Main Library profoundly mirrors the sentiment in The City Library’s mission statement to liberate and expand minds and foster creativity.