Oct 5, 2022 - News

Salt Lake City readers name their most-hated eyesores

A modern cubical building.

The federal courthouse downtown — AKA "the Borg Cube" — got lots of reader mentions as Salt Lake's worst eyesore. Photo: via the U.S. General Services Administration

We asked for eyesores, and you gave us an eyeful of them! Here are a few that stood out.

The Borg Cube

Details: Also known as the Orrin G. Hatch U.S. Courthouse, the 10-story glass building opened in 2014 to address security concerns in the previous, century-old federal courthouse.

  • It also displaced the beloved Port O' Call bar (RIP).
  • The contemporary architecture polarized residents, many of whom saw it as severe and sterile, with goofy-looking windows.
  • But the airy interior has proved more popular.

The flatness problem

State of play: Sprawling downtown parking lots and multi-lane surface streets make the city feel vacant, disconnected and unwalkable, readers complained.

  • State Street's width encourages high traffic speeds and is unsafe to cross, readers said.
  • Parking lots like those near the Little America, the Triad Center, and at the site of the former Zephyr club "completely destroy the fabric of downtown," tweeted journalist Jim Dalrymple.

The refinery

Details: Maybe it's the palpable reminder of Salt Lake's bad air. Maybe it's the juxtaposition against one of Salt Lake's coolest bars. Maybe it's neighbors' flashbacks to that big fire in 2009.

Yes, but: The Tesoro refinery got a lot of reader vitriol.

  • "The refinery near Beck Street is a MAJOR eyesore! Why did they put it so close to a downtown area?!" wrote Axios subscriber Jessica N.

Honorable mentions

A few other locations popped up repeatedly.

  • The Wells Fargo Center, which readers said "degraded" downtown activity with its lack of public-facing businesses at street level.
  • The renowned Fun Time Kidz Care, for its found-art spook quality.
  • "Podium-style" apartment buildings that lack ground-level retail. ("RIP 4th South" tweeted Downtown Community Councilman Tom Miller.)
  • Gravel pits on the north edge of town, near Big Cottonwood Canyon, and at Point of the Mountain.
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