Bonneville Salt Flats Rest Stop Shelter

Stephen Coles

A striking mid-century modern form at the rest area next to the (also striking) salt flats west of the Great Salt Lake. I don’t remember the design of Utah’s newer rest area structures, but I’m sure that’s because they aren’t memorable. This is one of those historically significant public designs, like those of the WPA, that remains uncredited, and often unappreciated, by today’s administrators.


Another view of the Bonneville Salt Flats shelter taken by Brad Cornelius in October, 2009.

Chris Lewis captured another nice cantilevered stop in Arizona.

And another in the same zig-zag googie style, this one with a stone foundation, taken by Mike on I-80 between San Francisco and Sacramento. Sadly this structure was recently demolished and replaced with something less interesting no doubt.

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  1. 01.17.08 Tom Andersen

    I’ve been flipping through a big, relatively-new book about Saarinen and, while I realize this was not his project, it reminds me of stuff he did. Apparently no one else knows who designed this either though.

  2. 01.21.08 Christer Ehrling

    Where is this located? I would love to do a photo shoot there!

  3. 01.21.08 Stephen

    I don’t blame you, Christer. The Bonneville Salt Flats (located in northwestern Utah) is one of the most picturesque places in the world. It’s literally impossible to take a bad shot there. Here are more pics from our trip: me, JLT.

  4. 01.22.08 Christer Ehrling

    Oh, I’ve been at the Salt Flats, I’m just curious where this shelter is located. In case I get a chance to return I want to make sure I don’t miss it like last time.
    Thanks for the links, Stephen!

  5. 01.22.08 Stephen

    Oh, dum me. I knew that. I think this stop is on the far west end of the flats.

  6. 09.27.08 — Javier

    You reminded me of architect Eladio Dieste. He has some very graceful structures similar to these. Unfortunately the only thing like that I can find now is this one and here are some other works.
    Excellent site the one you have here, BTW.

  7. 01.21.09 — MichaelVT

    You know I was just out that way a couple of weekends ago and thought the exact same thing. I even said to my wife “look at those great mid-century concrete rest stops”. The viewing platform on the south side of the Interstate is also really interesting.
    I would be interested in knowing more about these structures and how they came about. Seeing them triggered thoughts of Saarinen’s TWA terminal.

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