In a run-down commercial block on Salt Lake City’s State Street, Ralphael Plescia has spent nearly 50 years making religious art to tell the story of creation as he understands it. He calls his private museum a “school,” and he’s trying to restore Biblical characters he feels have been lost. His sculptures and paintings are not within the rooms though, they are embedded in the structure. He’s hollowed out underground tunnels to make space for Hell and the Garden of Eden. Narrow pathways and bridges traverse groundwater bubbling up from below. And there’s a very real chance the building will be bulldozed when he dies, but that doesn’t stop him from working every day to complete his vision.
Ralphael holds visiting hours on Friday afternoons at his warehouse. He’s located at 1324 S State Street. There are no reservations. Knock loudly and wait patiently for him to come to the front door.