In our recent "Best of the Beehive" issue (Miss Utah Genius is on the cover), we tried to balance the innumerable positives of our beloved state with a few gratuitous critiques of some of the bummers, such as the winter inversions and the Mark Shurtleff/John Swallow tag-team fiasco. This attempt at fair-and-balanced commentary, we call  "Wasatch Faults."

One shot we took was at SLC's two law-and-order construction projects--the new federal courthouse and the Public Saftey Complex/bunker. In our subjective view they are, well, god-awful ugly. Here's how we put it:

Fortunately Justice is Blind — Salt Lake's new wave of hideous buildings, most prominently the Public Safety center (conspicuously opposite the spectacular Main Library) and the new fedral courthouse, went up in 2013 in an epic battle of ugly.

Mayor Ralph Becker's Deputy Director of Communications Art Raymond took exception to our judgement of the new public safety building:
"I've received a forward of SLM's accounting of our new Public Safety Building as one of the two ugliest new structures in the City, a piece that appears to be part of your annual "Best of…" edition. The bit also included a photo of the facility shot from 500 South. Just in case you and your staffers aren't familiar with how the new home for our first responders is situated (the entrance is on the north) I'm sending these photos along."
First, we'd like to point out that most people experience the new buidling from 500 South not 200 East.

That said, here are Art's breathtaking photos that he feels refute our cheap shot at the new cop shop:


Now that the chain-link fencing is down, we strolled the project and re-evaluated.

First off, Art failed to capture the "monorail trestle" look of the entrance:

We also discovered we were remiss because some public art had been added to the site since our article.

We tried to guess what it (below, left) represents. "Flame of Justice?" An homage to the iron maiden medieval torture device? Or perhaps it's not sculpture at all, but a cage in which to put scoff laws—grafitti artists, for instance—where good citizens can pelt them with rotted vegetables.

Finally, we couldn't help but note the new building's pimped-out, chromy fire hydrant clearly an aesthetic improvement of the old school red one around the corner.

Obviously, when it comes to architecture, everyone's got an opinion. And in the case of the public safety building, you paid for it. So, let us know if we're right--it's fugly. Or do Mayor Ralph and his minions have the artist's eye?