After years of work and more than $30 million spent in remodeling, refurbishing, cleaning and restoring the Salt Lake City and County Building to pristine condition, the 95-year-old structure will be reopened this weekend with more than two dozen ceremonial activities.
It is good to see the grand old lady of government buildings in Utah returned to former grandeur in the midst of the tree-lined, 10-acre Washington Square.For a few years, the fate of the historic building was in doubt as people argued whether its dilapidated condition and antiquated offices were worth the millions of dollars needed to restore it to safety, beauty and usefulness.
But the decision to make the investment and preserve one of the city's beautiful landmarks was undoubtedly the right thing to do. All citizens can be proud of the gleaming new City-County Building that still retains the architecture, looks, original stonework and function of the 1894 edifice.
A threat by city police officers - upset over what they consider inadequate pay raise proposals - to picket the weekend ceremonies is unfortunate because it will be a jarring negative note in what is a celebration. But it should not be allowed to destroy the mood of the occasion.
Opening ceremonies at noon Saturday will be preceded by tree planting at 8:30 a.m. and a historical procession starting at the Masonic Temple parking lot at 11 a.m. and moving down 200 East.
Later, there will be a Utah Symphony performance of a special City-County Building musical number, refreshments, exhibits, a variety of ceremonies, receptions, tours and a band concert. Sunday activities will be more of the same.
The City-County Building is a cherished and valuable part of Salt Lake Valley history. It should be welcomed back in its traditional role as a beautiful and functioning center of local government.