On August 7, 2023, The City Library will begin a major renovation project on the Main Library’s roof. This project will repair damage accumulated in the 20 years since Main’s opening, while seeking to prevent the need for future major repairs. The roof and parts of the building will be closed to the public during construction, which is expected to last until the Fall of 2024.
Main’s rooftop terrace is renowned for its free, stunning 360° views of the Salt Lake Valley and its reading gardens. The renovation project will allow the Library to remodel the terrace to become an even more inviting public space. The Library collected community feedback for months and received over 1,600 points of feedback. Based on that patron feedback, the Library will add more shade, seating, and impressive sustainability and safety features. When the rooftop terrace reopens, it will welcome The City Library’s famous beehives and host rooftop yoga, performances and events, and serve as a welcoming place to take in amazing views, read a book, or simply relax and pass the time.
The Main Library’s West Entrance (200 East) will close on Monday, August 7 to begin preparations. A crane will be placed in the western plaza. The East entrance (through Library Square), along with sidewalks, drive-up bookdrops, staff and delivery entrances, and the loading zone will all remain open.
The 5th Floor will be closed to staff and patrons. Ceilings will be removed as new drains, supply lines, electrical, and structural steelwork is added. There is a focus on waterproofing the roof, using highly-durable asphalt rubberized waterproofing. An advanced electronic leak detection system will also assist Library maintenance in pin-pointing and stopping any future leaks.
It will be necessary to periodically close some public areas of the 4th Floor, which is currently home to part of the Library’s nonfiction collection, public computers, art gallery, and meeting space. All attempts will be made to limit construction noise during open hours, but some noise will be heard throughout the building. There will be times where the Main Library will need to close entirely.
Closures will typically be announced in advance. Partners include GSBS Architects, building envelope engineers Morrison Hershfield, and Paulsen Construction as the general contractors.
The City Library system includes seven neighborhood branches located throughout the city, which will remain open as usual during the construction period. City Library cardholders can borrow eBooks, digital magazines, and digital audiobooks at slcpl.org/digitallibrary.
For 125 years, The City Library has proudly served the Salt Lake Community with its eight neighborhood locations. The Main Library is a jewel in the heart of Salt Lake City, attracting visitors from around the world to admire its bright spaces and stunning architecture. The City Library never charges late fees for returned items, and is proud to now offer two hours of free parking at The Main Library. Over 86% of Salt Lake residents hold Library Cards, and enjoy access to hundreds of thousands of ebooks and digital audiobooks. All year long, the Library welcomes patrons for in-person and virtual programs, events, and workshops. Learn more at yourcitylibrary.org.