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The Main Library's Rooftop Terrace is undergoing a major renovation project. This will repair damage, fix wear-and-tear, and upgrade systems to limit the need for future repairs. The Rooftop is also being remodeled to make it an even better place to view Salt Lake City, read a book, or just relax.

Information and updates regarding the Main Library Rooftop Renovation project will be posted here. Check this page for future updates as the project develops.

UPDATE 5/21/24: 

  • The upper terrace area has been waterproofed. The lower terrace area has been waterproofed and sloped with Cellcrete to eliminate major “bathtub” areas, and water quickly sheds from this area due to the slope. The staff patio is the only remaining area that needs waterproofing.
  • 100 new holes have been core drilled for light poles, drains, and rebar connections into the existing deck. Most of these penetrations have already been filled, grouted, and waterproofed.
  • Structural steel for the skylight infill over the Level 4 stairs has been placed. Framing and waterproofing will be completed shortly.
  • Concrete placements have been made to form the benches and walls on the lower plaza. Geofoam was used as part of this work and will help shape the look of the plaza.
  • Steel beams for the ramp between the lower- and upper-terraces — as well as for the large shade structure in the middle of the terrace — will be delivered and installed on May 23–24.

UPDATE 2/8/24: At this time, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and the Children's Library are open and accessible. The Urban Room, shops, and meeting rooms will still be available to the public.

UPDATE 2/7/24: The library portion of the building will close for the day at 2:30pm to address leaks caused by the snow/rain.

UPDATE 1/16/24: The Main Library will be closed for the day. Beginning on January 17, the first floor, the Urban Room, and the Children's area will be open for Express Services. We anticipate Express Services being offered through Monday, January 22, and hope to return to full services on January 23. Staff will be available to procure materials from the upper floors.

UPDATE 12/4/23: The library portion of the building will be closed for the day, but the Urban Room, shops, and meeting rooms will still be available to the public. Patrons may return books and pick up holds at the glass door between the Urban Room and the Library.

UPDATE 11/30/23: Crews have made significant progress clearing out the old infrastructure. When the demolition portion is wrapped up, they’ll be starting the new year with a clean slate as they continue to bring the reimagined rooftop to life!

UPDATE 11/20/23: Demolition continues this week. Library Leadership and the construction team have decided to partially close the Main Library due to excessive noise caused by the construction. Here are the details:

  • Most public areas of the Main Library will be closed from
    Mon, Nov 20–Sun, Nov 26.
  • The Auditorium and Lower Urban Room Conference Rooms will remain open for previously scheduled events.
  • The Urban Room (Atrium) and Lower Urban Room will be open
    Mon–Wed, 10am–6pm · Sat, 10am–6pm · Sun, 11am–5pm.
  • Library Staff will be available in the Urban Room to accept returns and retrieve items you have on hold.
  • The Lower Urban Room will be open for viewings of the art exhibits "Unearthed," by Louise Fischman, and "Vessels" by Joshua Luther.

UPDATE 10/16/23: The Main Library’s rooftop renovation project is officially underway. To begin, crews are working to demolish and remove the existing infrastructure so construction can begin with a clean slate. Check back here for progress updates and watch the new roof take shape!

UPDATE 8/1/23: Preliminary design renderings are presented below 

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 the Main Library’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.  

Construction Details

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.

Level 5 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 Level 4, 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.