Welcome to the Temporary Museum of Permanent Change

EDA ArchitectsSpecial thanks to EDA Architects for their ongoing support of the Museum's projects and programs


Squatters Pub BreweryWebsite updates are made possible with support from Squatters Pub Brewery.


SLCC film students contribute their stories in and about the Museum

Watch it on YouTube

The Museum's Broadway Wing
looks forward to welcoming
the Sundance Film Festival
again next year!

Sundance took place in the Museum,
and the street lit up for 10 full days

With our new Sundance plakats up and down the street, made possible with support from SLC Corporation and EDA Architects, museum visitors got a preview of things to come — see a slideshow here.

"Along the Way" on Broadway

Cause Collective

The work of the Oakland-based artists collaborative known as ©ause Collective was projected nightly during Sundance. If you missed it on the wall, catch it here and see how engaging the moment as we move through our cities can engage our senses and sensibilities day-by-day, along the way.

The Temporary Museum of Permanent Change is a community based, participatory project that uses the major construction processes in downtown Salt Lake City as catalysts to animate the city.


The Museum engages a variety of audiences using a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach that includes performance art and video production, visual art, urban archaeology, anthropology, local history, existing businesses and ongoing deconstruction and construction processes as spectacles for people of all ages. Together these elements provide teachable moments in our efforts to manage and celebrate change.


This Museum has no specific address. Rather it is a construction of ideas that comprise a new way of seeing our capitol city during the intense construction processes underway now and scheduled during the next few years. The historic downtown area creates the Museum's geographic footprint, and it's a flexible boundary extending west to Central Station, east to The Cathedral of the Madeleine, north to City Creek Park and South to Library Square. But what is under our city, the archaeological site waiting to be explored?


A project of the Center for the Living City.


What others are saying
about the Museum . . .


Construction Appreciation

Utne Reader

Construction season is inconvenient, it interrupts our regularly scheduled lives, and all those orange barrels are unsightly additions to city landscapes. But Salt Lake City is treating the extensive renovation of its downtown as a “learning opportunity” with the establishment of the Temporary Museum of Permanent Change. With the city’s downtown rendered inaccessible to vehicles, storefronts and construction sites across the city are serving as temporary museum exhibits that “will help people understand the different ways cities change over time, and how the community’s inextricable relationship with the city influences its evolution,” museum creator Stephen Goldsmith tells Planetizen.

On the museum website, sections with titles like “museum restaurants” and “museum shops” bring attention to lesser-known services throughout the downtown by giving shout-outs to local businesses. Delving into community involvement and evoking elements of guerilla art, the Temporary Museum of Permanent Change is truly a beautiful concept.

—Anna Cynar

Read the original at www.utne reader.com.

Heady company

Museum Lab

Temporary Museum Of Permanent Change cited by EURO web site along with The Whitney, The Pompidou, and The Acropolis



a revolutionary idea

Be Virtual


A rough translation from a review of the Museum by the Swiss blog Be Virtual, June 27th, 2007

An original initiative in terms of museography just came to life in SLC, Utah's capital. Instead of seeing the history of the city and its many transformations—from the territory occupied by Indian tribes till the Olympic Games—presented in a brick-and-mortar museum, the city's downtown is presented as the museum. This "nouveau genre" museum wants to attract people's attention to the perpetual changes of a big city like SLC.

The museum, called The Temporary Museum of Permanent Change, is, at first glance, a website that presents itself as a classic "museum style" site. But the section "Shops" presents local businesses. Same thing for the"Restaurants" section. The permanent collection represents things to see in the city.

There is more to the museum than the website. It also engages and invests in the city streets. One of their first projects was making giant posters with stories told by people who live or work in SLC. Another project will put this on video. The museum is also collaborative: it wants the participation of city inhabitants to assure its progress. Among some of the different projects is to collect inhabitants stories.

The Temporary Museum of Permanent Change revolutionizes the ideas we entertain about what a museum should be, as we often (unfortunately) imagine a museum as a building with a permanent collection. Here the collection explodes into the real world and is virtually reunited in a website. Visitors are potential museum contributors—they are invited to participate in the project and to enrich the collections. From still objects, the museum intends to become a live process, perpetually changing. Even though this museum calls itself temporary, we wish them a long life.

Link to the original article, in French, at BeVirtual

temporary street collection

Temporary Street CollectionAn assemblage of authentic elements found as we observe, listen, taste, touch and breathe in the life of the city. See for yourself.


Sunrise video If a city can be a museum, what would its pedestrians be? Watch the Museum's new video acquisition, Sunrise, by Brian Patterson and Phillip Kraft.

Listen... you can still hear them playing it.

Learn more about this Fremont flute (c. AD 950 to 1150 AD) found beneath South Temple in 1998. Come hear for yourself.

Click Here

A Page of Plakats

The Museum gets windows The Museum gets windows

 Ken Sanders Rare Books 10th Anniversary Celebration See for yourself what Ken Sanders is doing downtown.