CCB Projects

Salt Lake City and County Building Stone Repair and Seismic Upgrades


Project Description:

In 2014 the City funded projects that would ensure the historic Salt Lake City and County Building could withstand larger seismic events than originally designed and to once again repair, preserve, and where needed, replace some of the exterior Kyune sandstone.  The last time significant work of this nature was conducted for this facility was in the late 1980s.  The projects consist of seismic upgrades, stone remediation, and exterior window trim repairs.  These key projects are essential to maintaining the building to a level that is consistent with its historic significance and to allow for continued use as our City Hall well into the future.  The City has completed the selection process where VCBO Architecture and Reaveley Engineers were chosen to perform the remaining design and project administration. 

To Learn More:

To learn more about the project please view this presentation prepared by the project team.  This is the same as presented to Historic Landmarks Commission and other public meetings.  You may email a request to be added to the update list by sending a message with "add to CCB projects update list" in the subject line, to

Project Schedule:

Seismic Upgrades:   July 2016 – April 2017
Tower Stone Restoration:   June 2016 – December 2016
West and South Stone:  March 2017 – October 2017
East Stone Restoration:  June 2018 – November 2017
North Stone Restoration: October 2017 - February 2018
Landscaping Repair: April 2018 - May 2018

Project Team Members:

Jim Cleland, Facilities
SLC Engineering Sean Fyfe, AIA City Architect
Project Architect Karen Ferguson, VCBO Architecture, LLC
Structural Engineer Jerod Johnson, PE, Reaveley Engineers & Associates

Access to City and County Building:

The building will remain open during construction for employees, visitors, and customers with an ADA-compliant entry.  

Contact Information:

Salt Lake City Project Manager:  Sean Fyfe, (801) 535-6344,
Project Public Engagement:

Construction Notices:

Q:  Why?  OR  Didn’t we just restore and upgrade the building?
A:  Restoration and base isolation was completed nearly 30(!) years ago.  Stone deterioration is a natural process that requires periodic attention.  Seismic design and intervention in 1986 was fully appropriate for what was known at that time.  Geotechnical understanding and seismic design requirements have changed since then; upgrades are prudent to preserve and protect the building.  
Q:  Why now?  Can it wait?
A:  Studies were completed 2012 that clearly identified repair needs.  The City Council approved the projects in 2014.  
Q:  When will we have to do this again?
A:  Seismic upgrades will address known structural needs.  Stone will be better protected (repointed mortar joints, more sheet metal flashing, joint caps, etc.) but will likely need some work every few decades.  Painted wood windows require more frequent maintenance, about every 10 years but can be mostly accessed by aerial lifts (no scaffolding, minimal impact).
Q:  How much will it cost?  Where are the funds coming from?
A:  Budgeted for design and construction:  
  1. Seismic:  $2.7 million, Bond funds
  2. Stone:  $5.3 million, General Fund Capital Improvement Projects
  3. Window Trim:  $ 500,000, General Fund Capital Improvement Projects
Q:  How long will it take?
A:  Seismic upgrades in the building sub-basement will take about 12 months.  Exterior repairs of stone and windows will not be continued through cold weather months to avoid the complexity and cost of enclosing scaffolding and heating the space.  Exterior work will likely proceed around the building and the clock tower Spring through Fall 2016 and 2017.  Scaffolding will likely be up on at least one quadrant of the building most of the time.  As soon as a more detailed schedule is available, it will be posted.  
Q:  How big of earthquakes are we talking about?
A: 500 year event:  building with base isolators has 8 in. of lateral movement (original design) – approximately 6.5 magnitude
750 year event:  building impacts moat bumpers with 10 in. of movement – approximately 7.0 magnitude (surface rupture along faults, etc.)
1500 year event:  building isolators ‘roll over’ with 14-16 in. of movement – approximately 7.3 magnitude (roughly double the energy of 7.0 magnitude) 
Q:  What about building ‘appendages’ (chimneys, balconies, etc.)
A:  These were addressed in the 1986 seismic upgrade but will be re-evaluated now.
Q:  How will the project impact use of Washington Square?
A:  General contractor will develop the final plan with the City but will likely work by quadrant.  ADA accessible entry and general public access will be maintained, protected as needed.  Major festivals (Living Traditions, Art, Pride, etc.) will still be able to much of Washington Square.
Q:  How will it impact parking?
A:  The general contractor will determine impact and response with the City.  East drop-off and parking will likely be impacted (closed) for a major part of the project.  Other options perhaps on-street parking options at southeast corner will be evaluated.  Displaced parking notice will be sent out and appropriate signage posted.  ADA access will be maintained throughout the project.  
Q:  How will it impact building use and access?
A:  The building will remain open during business hours.  Each entry will need to be closed for a limited period of time but we will work with the general contractor to provide clear notification and signage about circulation changes.  The accessible entry will be maintained and protected throughout the project or another ADA-compliant entry will be developed.  Some construction noise will be inevitable (grinding, drilling, etc.) during business hours.  With good coordination, impacts can be minimized for selected times/locations.
Q:  Will there be any chemical treatment applied to the stone?
A:  The stone has some weathering characteristics (micro factures parallel to the stone surface) that will not benefit from stone consolidants or other treatments.  Keeping the stone protected by flashing, joint repairs, etc. is the best preservation course.  
Q:  What is stone remediation?
A:  Stone remediation is a term to describe the range of repairs and other treatments to address identified stone deterioration.  It includes repair of cracks, limited partial replacement of heavily damaged stone, introduction of some sheet metal flashing, gutters, etc. and repointing/re-caulking of all deteriorated joints.