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Natural History Museum Of Utah: What You Need To Know

Utah’s Natural History Museum is for anyone looking to learn more about Utah’s interesting history. The Natural History Museum has intrigued me since I was a kid. For all you Jurassic Park fans T-rex and raptor fossils are located in the massive dinosaur museum and can be seen up close. The actual size of dinosaurs that once lived in Utah is mind boggling. Within the Natural History Museum exhibits there is more than just dinosaur fossils. There is a wide variety of Utah Landscape History and Utah Native American History. A couple of years ago I attended design class at the University of Utah. There I learned about the rich history of Utah and of the Rio Tinto Center  where the Natural History Museum is located.

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Natural History Museum Of Utah, Rio Tinto Center

The Natural History Museum of Utah is for anyone looking to learn more about Utah’s interesting history. The Natural History Museum has intrigued me since I was a kid. They have actual t-rex and raptor fossils in the massive dinosaur museum that can be seen up close. The actual size of dinosaurs that once lived in Utah is mind boggling. In the Utah History Museum exhibits there is more than just dinosaur fossils. There is a wide variety of Utah Landscape History and Utah Native American History. A couple of years ago I attended design class at the University of Utah. There I learned about the rich history of Utah and of the Rio Tinto Center  where the Natural History Museum is located.

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Canyon Room, Natural History Museum Of Utah

The Rio Tinto Center is a large elegant modern structure built on the east bench of Salt Lake City, Utah on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail on the mountainside. The building cost over 100 million dollars to construct and was well worth the cost because the value it brings to the community. In the UofU design class that I took we were tasked with the project of making an exhibit for the Natural History Museum of Utah. During this process of research we learned about the how the museum was built.

A diverse team of architects was assemble to build the Natural History Museum Of Utah. To get inspiration the architect team traveled through all the different landscapes of Utah to do research. They traveled throughout Utah’s diverse landscapes taking photos and notes as to what made Utah unique. From observation they found that Utah from a topographical map is very green and also very red and tan in some areas. Utah’s Landscapes also very rocky and random with diverse amounts of geology and plant life. These findings helped drive the design of the building which was built to mimic the natural Utah landscapes surrounding it. The museum truly feels like it represents Utah’s history.

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Life Size T-Rex, Dinosaur Exhibit

Even more interesting is the diversity of Museums inside the Rio Tinto Center. The dinosaur exhibit inside is incredible, they have every type of fossil from tiny fossils of creatures the size of your finger to massive skeletal structures of an actual Tyrannosaurus Rex. They even have fossils and remnants of creatures that lived during the Ice Age. Anyone who enters the museum and sees what once walked the landscape of Utah will leave in awe.

Second to the Utah dinosaur exhibit is the Native American history exhibit in my opinion. The Natural History Museum of Utah has worked with the living Native American Tribes throughout the southwestern states of the U.S. This was done to properly depict the unique history of the Native Americans culture, art and way of life which existed long before the United States was settled by Europeans.

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Natural History Museum Angle View

An intentional and smart decision that was made by the architects was to place the Rio Tinto Center on the Bonneville Shoreline. It not only overlooks the large Salt Lake Valley and has a view of the Great Salt Lake but it has an exhibit inside about Lake Bonneville which once filled the whole Salt Lake Valley before natural causes opened it up and drained it out. It is very fitting that the Rio Tinto Center sits on the Bonneville shoreline trail which used to be where Lake Bonneville’s water level was. The building’s reflective glass window display a mirror image of the Salt Lake Valley and Great Salt Lake reminding us how it was formed.

If you are in Utah, or planning to visit Utah go and gain a new appreciation for Utah’s History at the Natural History Museum Of Utah.

More information can be found at

http://www.visitsaltlake.com/listings/Natural-History-Museum-of-Utah-at-the-Rio-Tinto-Center/60001/

https://nhmu.utah.edu/

 

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