Bells were scheduled to toll throughout Salt Lake City Wednesday afternoon in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the City-County Building.

The building, one of the country's finest examples of Richardson Romanesque architecture, was dedicated on Dec. 28, 1894, after years of contention over the project.The need for a new government building, proposed for 100 South and State Street, was first mentioned in December 1888. The Liberal Party blasted the project as a waste of taxpayers money; its candidate, George M. Scott, unseated the incumbent mayor on those charges. He became the city's first non-Mormon mayor.

Once in office, Scott's administration proposed moving ahead with the building. It expected the project to cost $150,000.

But after spending $22,000 on a foundation, it abandoned the project.

For years, there was no more work on the building. The foundation became the "Block 49" of its day, spurring criticism of local government.

Eventually the city and county joined together to complete the project, choosing the present location at 400 South and State Street. But the cost of the building soared to more than $900,000, creating more derision and scandal.

The city and county each issued bonds to cover the project; the interest swelled the final price tag to $2.4 million.

Over the years the building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, has housed city and county government offices, the 3rd District Court, the state Legislature and the governor's office. Although the county is still a joint owner of the building, it is now used solely by the city.