Construction worker Ray Anderson eye-balled the air bubble floating inside his level and declared the brass railing on the north side of the renovated City-County Building true - and just in the nick of time.

The pomp and circumstance marking the reopening of Salt Lake City's government center will begin Friday night only hours after construction crews pack their tools and complete the two-and-a-half year renovation.While most of the workers will punch the clock for the last time at the City County Building this week, Anderson and others say they won't leave without a palletful of memories from their efforts.

"You find yourself wanting to save the newspaper stories telling about the building. You can say you worked on it yourself," he said.

Anderson's boss, John H. Wright, project superintendent for Jacobsen Construction Co., didn't sleep well the waning days of the project. But as the details were completed, Wright's confidence rose.

"About a week ago, I took a hard look at it and I could see then that it was within our grasp," he said.

The dungareed painters, tile-layers, nail-pounders and craftsmen will be replaced Friday night by couples formally attired for the first event of the weekend commemorating the building: the Celebrate the City Gala.

The invitation-only, dinner and dance is being thrown to honor major donors to the Utah Heritage Foundation. But Anderson and the other 160 construction workers who contributed to the project won't be forgotten.

"There's a contractor's party for the workers here on the north side of the building in May," Anderson shrugged.

A brass fanfare will ring-in the black-tie affair Friday and the celebration is scheduled to go to midnight. The celebration will continue over the weekend.

Before opening ceremonies Saturday at noon, a historical procession beginning at 11 a.m. and re-enacting the Masonic Procession held in 1892 for the dedication of the building's cornerstone will be held.

During opening ceremonies Saturday at noon, officials will rededicate the flagpole on the west side of the building and remember the thousands of Salt Lake schoolchildren who participated in raising the staff's first flag in 1936.

The Utah Heritage Foundation will conduct tours of the historic building from 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday and an historical exhibit will be on display on the third floor those same hours. (See accompanying list for other activities.)

Just as the celebration comes on the heels of completion of the renovation, government work at City Hall will begin on the coat-tails of the re-dedication of the City-County Building.

Moments after the last revelers leave Washington Square Sunday night, city employees will begin moving in boxes and furniture already piling up in temporary City Hall at 324 S. State.


(Additional story)

Weekend activities will celebrate renovation of historic S.L. landmark

What: Celebrate the City Gala

When: Friday, April 28

Where: City-County Building.

For information: Call 533-0858


-Arbor Day tree planting, 8:30 to 11 a.m., west entrance.

-Historical procession, 11 a.m., Masonic Temple to City-County Building.

-Opening ceremonies, noon, west entrance, remarks by Mayor Palmer DePaulis and others.

-Building tours, 1 to 7 p.m., conducted by Utah Heritage Foundation.

-Boy Scout tower tour, 1 to 7 p.m., fifth floor, hosted by Salt Lake Council of Boy Scouts of America.

-Historical exhibit, "Launching a Landmark," 1 to 7 p.m., on display in third floor.

-Children's activities, 1 to 7 p.m., first floor, kids receive commemorative coloring book.

-Children's photographic workshop, 1 to 7 p.m., first floor.

-Food concessions, 1 to 7 p.m., east entrance, neighborhood groups will operate food booths.

-Slide program, 1 to 7 p.m., fourth floor, continuous display of slides of restoration.

-Traditional crafts exhibit, 1 to 7 p.m., fourth floor, photographs of restoration craftsmen.

-Salt Lake - Our Future, 1 to 7 p.m., fourth floor, the future of the Salt Lake downtown.

-Time capsule exhibit, 1 to 7 p.m., third floor, display of time capsule sealed in 1892.

-Cornerstone ceremonies, 2 p.m., northeast corner, traditional Masonic ceremony.

-Tree City USA ceremony, 3 p.m., west entrance, recognizing the city's accomplishments in urban forestry.

-Volunteer reception, 3 to 5 p.m., room 336, honoring all Salt Lake volunteers.

-Soviet INF inspector welcome, 3:30 p.m., west entrance, sponsored by the Utah Committee for American Soviet Relations.

-Ethnic entertainment, 4:30 p.m., west entrance, traditional ethnic entertainment.

-Tour of the square, 5 p.m., meet at north entrance.

-Ethnic reception, 5 to 6:30 p.m., City Council Chamber.


-Building tours, noon to 5 p.m.

-Historic exhibit, noon to 5 p.m.

-Children's activities, noon to 5 p.m.

-Children's photographic workshop, noon to 5 p.m.

-Slide program, noon to 5 p.m.

-Food concessions, noon to 5 p.m.

-Architects talk and tour, noon, City Council Chamber, features restoration process and base isolation system.

-Tour of the square, 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

-Employees' reunion, 1:30 to 3 p.m., City Council Chamber honoring former city employees.

-Wedding reception, 4 to 5 p.m., City Council Chamber, for all those who purchased marriage licenses or were married in the building.