The Museum of Utah


In the fall of 2018, the department was optimistically moving forward on a proposed Artifacts & Art Center on the current Road Home site. Although unfunded, the proposal had support from multiple legislative leaders and the Governor’s office and seemed to be on track for funding within a year or two. And then, the Legislature opened its 2019 session.

In his opening statement, House Speaker Brad Wilson announced his priority: demolishing the State Office Building and replacing it with a building where the state’s history could be shared while also providing a permanent home for the artifacts stored in the Rio Grande basement.

By the end of the session in March, the proposal had become reality. The Legislature approved $110 million for the project, most of which was slated for the purchase and renovation of the American Express building in Taylorsville and demolition of the State Office Building. The AmEx building purchase was finalized in May for $56 million and is currently being renovated to eventually house 1,500 state employees.

Current Status

While the AmEx building purchase grabbed the headlines, architects have worked all summer on plans for the new building at the State Capitol complex. That has included representatives from the department administration, State History and Arts & Museums, since the new building will store the historic artifacts and Alice Merrill Horne Art Collection. The focus has been on space needs, public meeting rooms and gathering areas, and exhibit space. These plans are expected to be publicly unveiled before the end of the year.

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