Leonardo at Library Square

  • New Museum of History, Science and the Arts
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • 2008 - 2009


As a collaboration of art, history and science institutions in Salt Lake City, the Leonardo was formed to provide a range of cultural experiences with a focus on making, not observing.  The three primary cultural institutions, as co-developers, identified the need for providing learning space and experiences as schools retreated from music, art, local history and more in depth science.  By reusing the old central library at a light rail hub in downtown Salt Lake, the goal was to provide activities from noon until late hours 7 days a week – a safe learning place for the region.



Working with the collaborative organizations, program opportunities, overlaps and new concepts were identified and prioritized.  Through a series of workshops, alternates for arranging them within the building led to development of the building as a ‘loft’ of spaces – often open to one another, to allow visitors to find activities they might not otherwise encounter.  Boundaries between each organization fell away, and new collaborations increased the range of experiences.


A difficult funding environment led to a significant reduction in scope and scale of the founding institution’s intent.  The project has subsequently been developed in phases, with new partners and more exhibits and fewer experiences, with the long term goal of developing the full building to the intent and spirit of a multi-institutional collaboration.

Led by Walt Crimm while Director of EwingCole Cultural Practice