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John Daley Reporting...The retail spaces, the garden and the fountains all officially opened today, setting the stage for Salt Lake’s Library Square to become even more bustling than it already is.
Politicians and developers often like to boast their latest project is the most spectacular, most significant, most special yet. The library's director says the compliments keep on pouring in.
Nancy Tessman, Director/City Library System: "THIS WEEK WE HAD A VISITOR FROM MOSCOW. HE WALKED UP TO THE WELCOME DESK AND HE SAID, I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW I'M TRAVELING FROM RUSSIA AND IN MOSCOW, THIS IS WHERE THEY ARE TELLING US TO GO IN THE UNITED STATES. THIS IS THE BEST BUILDING IN AMERICA."
Today--an event to celebrate the opening of the garden, the fountains and the retail spaces--which are cleverly built into the library's distinctive wedge shaped wall.
Rocky Anderson, Salt Lake City Mayor: "SALT LAKE CITY IS TRULY EXPERIENCING A RENAISSANCE AND THERE IS NOTHING THAT REFLECTS THAT RENAISSANCE MORE THAN THIS FANTASTIC STRUCTURE AND THESE GROUNDS."
Even the guys in hard hats who built it have a hard time disguising their affection for the library.
Gary Shunk, Big D Construction: "OH IT'S A WONDERFUL BUILDING. IT'S SOMETHING I'LL ALWAYS REMEMBER BEING A PART OF."
Since its opening the library has been a smash success. Now the outdoor space promises to be a major community gathering place, complete with a nice array of cozy shops and offices --including a yet to be named restaurant, a comic book store, an eco-friendly gift shop called Your Planet, the Salt Lake Film Center and the new home of NPR station -- KCPW.
Mary Fraser, KCPW Development Director: "THIS IS REALLY THE CULTURAL HUB OF SALT LAKE AND WHEN AN OPPORTUNITY CAME UP TO PRESENT A GRANT PROPOSAL TO THE LIBRARY WE THOUGHT THIS REALLY MESHES WITH OUR MISSION SO PERFECTLY."
There will be events here all through the summer. Starting tomorrow -- an important celebration of the African-American community -- the Juneteenth Festival.