Salt Lake City Public Library – Salt Lake City, Utah - Atlas Obscura
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Salt Lake City Public Library

Visitors to this library are in for a real-world education in modernist architecture. 


Thoughts of a public library inevitably turn to rows of bookcases, shushing librarians, and little plastic chairs for quiet contemplation.

But the Salt Lake City Public Library is something else altogether. A truly modern work of architectural art, it’s just about the last thing one would think of when invited to visit a library. Closer to the look of a museum of art, the breathtakingly vast glass atrium allows natural light to stream in and breathe life into a space traditionally known for subtle, ambient light. The results are nothing short of inspirational.

Exploring the library is encouraged. In addition to having over 500,000 books, there is also a rooftop garden, as well as an apiary tucked away on the 5th floor.

Know Before You Go

It's open Monday throughThursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Sunday, the hours are 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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