Monday, March 14, 2011

Library jumpers

A 3rd person has committed suicide by jumping from a 100' landing inside Utah's Salt Lake City Library. The library (pictured) was designed by architect and urban designer Moshe Safdie and built to great acclaim in 2003 (see slideshow). The building houses 500,000 books in its 240,000 sq. ft. and offers reading galleries, a 300-seat auditorium, a ground-level plaza with shops and services, and a roof-top garden with a 360-degree view of the city and the outlying Wasatch Mountains. Reflecting during a lecture in 2006, Safdie said, "I was told that it would be impossible to keep people in town past five o' clock. We proved them wrong." With 9,000 visitors a day, the library is now the most visited site in Utah. But within the library's six-story interior is a pedestrian bridge leading to the bathrooms on the west side. That is the spot from which a middle-aged woman jumped to her death on Friday morning - the 3rd to choose the downtown public library to do so. Several people heard a woman screaming and then saw her lying on the ground inside the library. Her actions were also captured by a surveillance camera. Police lieutenant Bryce Johnson stated, "There was no question how it took place. It was an intentional suicide.” The library's executive director Beth Elder does not want to see any repeats and said, “We are saddened and extend our condolences to the family. The building design is very transparent. It has great advantages to how it can be used, but we will be exploring ways in which we can make it safe.”

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