Salt Lake City Library Neighbors…Architects Wants Culture, Not Police Nearby

If you had the choice, what type of facility would you like adjoining your library?

Award-winning architect Moshe Safdie, who designed Salt Lake City’s showcase Main Library, has “great concern” with Mayor Ralph Becker’s proposal for a cop shop on the downtown cultural block, calling the resulting arrangement a “fundamental transformation for the worse.”

Safdie — along with fellow library architects Steve Crane and Mark Johnson — suggested that a “museum or performing-arts building” might work on Library Square, but warned that “a police station and emergency operations center is hardly a complementary use to the public life of the park.”

The Library Board voted Tuesday to oppose placing a police headquarters a book’s throw from the capital’s cultural icon. The board argues the cop complex — to be funded by a $125 million bond if voters approve it in November — is “incompatible” and poses a philosophical threat to the freedom-of-speech nature of Library Square.