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Exploring the Frederick Albert Sutton Building

Virtual Tour of the Frederick Albert Sutton Building

East Entrance/2nd Floor


Landscaping at FASB’s east entrance is designed to merge with the Rock Garden in front of the adjoining William Browning Building. A dry-river cobble bed outside the east entrance, facing the Wasatch Mountain, extends inside the building as a sinuous stream of pebble tile. Encased in epoxy, the pebble stream moves westward toward the stairway where it, like the stairway, drops to the first floor. The pebble stream continues flowing westward toward the first floor entrance where, outside the building, it once again becomes a dry-river cobble bed and continues toward the Salt Lake Valley.

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Rock monoliths from Butterfield Gardens merge with the Rock Garden on the east
side of the William Browning Building.



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The angled rock slab just outside the east entrance is garnet-staurolite-schist, a “quarried end piece” from the Precambrian Espinhaco Supergroup, Piripá, Bahia, Brazil and is a gift from Contempo Ceramic Tile.



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Confluence/2nd Floor


In keeping with the river theme, the second-story rotunda at the east entrance is named The Peter Stifel Confluence, in honor of the 1964 Ph.D. geology alumnus of the University of Utah. This confluence is where FASB joins the William Browning Building, home of the Departments of Metallurgical Engineering, Mining Engineering, and Atmospheric Sciences.
A majestic aerial photograph of the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers in southern Utah, accompanied by a quote from the famed early explorer of the western U.S., John Wesley Powell, hangs near the stairway in The Peter Stifel Confluence. The photo was taken by geologist and professional photographer Michael Collier.



The multicolored slate tiles are Precambrian (Neoproterzoic) from the Serra da Santa Helena Formation, Bambuí Group of the São Francisco Supergroup, Minas Gerais State, Brazil and are gifts from Daltile & Stone and Green Slate Mining. The river pebbles are from China, donated by Solistone, Inc.


This sculpture features Moqui “marbles” of the Jurassic Navajo Sandstone from the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument that are embedded into Triassic Chinle Formation sandstone, known by the trade name “Kanab Goldenstone”. This rock highlights a few of the many sedimentary and fluid flow processes that are visible in southern Utah’s iconic landscape. The marbles
were recovered by the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) during an
investigation into illegal collection of these protected resources. BLM then released some marbles to the Department of Geology and Geophysics for educational use. The Goldenstone was acquired through collaboration with Ken Brown and Western Hills Rocks & Gems Inc., and the stone relief marbles were creatively embedded by Susan Judy of Stone Quilt Design.



The Peter B. Stifel Confluence is also home to a spectacular display of 104 Eocene age Green River fish fossils—some 50 million years old—from Fossil Lake near Kemmerer, Wyoming. The fish, including Knightia, Priscacara, Diplomystus, and Mioplosus, are arranged in a school. The edges of the display are framed in polished Green River “marlstone”, made of limestone and dolomite, which has been set on its edge to show laminations. Fine, organic-rich oil shale laminations
provide the dark-colored stripes in the frame.

The donor listing at center of the fish wall pays lasting tribute to the individuals and organizations whose generous gifts made the construction of FASB possible.



The large, framed teaching charts hanging throughout the second and third floors were produced by Karl Alfred Zittel (1839-1904) in the German volume “Palaeontologische Wandtafeln,” Druck und Verlag Theodor Fischer, Cassel (Printing and publisher Theodor Fischer, Cassel, 1879-1891).



A large, handmade, Pakistan wool rug gifted by Adib’s Rug Gallery, and plants acquired from Cactus & Tropicals, add warmth to the Confluence area. Furniture from Henriksen-Butler.



Just around the corner from the Confluence is an equally spectacular display of carbonized leaf fossils, also from the Green River Formation and ancient Fossil Lake. Because plant fossils—particularly ones that are well-preserved enough for use in scientific research—are generally quite rare, the Plant Wall is one of the best displays in the country.

This remarkable collection of plant fossils come from the Ulrich fossil quarries near Kemmerer, Wyoming. Dr. Lonnie and Shannon Paulos generously donated this collection to the University of Utah. Other portions of his collection are housed within the Department of Geology and Geophysics and the Natural History Museum of Utah at the University of Utah.

Architect John Diamond (Diamond Phillips) designed the Plant Wall with 100+ fossils.



Allosaurus fragilis is the Utah State
Fossil and is a meat-eating dinosaur from the
Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation (ca. 150
million years ago). This specimen is from the
Cleveland-Lloyd Quarry, in the newly designated
Jurassic National Monument in Emery
County, Utah. The quarry is an exceptional site
for fossilized adult and juvenile samples.





The Hominid Display highlights geochronology
(age dating) of sedimentary deposits
that has been important in establishing the
evolutionary history of early man. This display
reflects the research efforts of Dr. Francis H.
Brown with students and collaborations in the
Omo-Turkana Basin of Kenya and Ethiopia.



Hanging above the stairway, on the south wall, is “Confluence Sentinel,” a large oil painting commissioned
from Utah artist John Collins (1987, B.F.A. U of U). His appreciation for the natural beauty of Utah is evident
in the expressive palette he chose.



Last Updated: 3/28/22