The San Antonio Express-News held a contest to name the color of the new San Antonio Public Library building (Central branch). In 1995, the entry “enchilada red” won.
Some people love the library’s design and some hate it. It has become an important part of San Antonio, either way.
Central Library, San Antonio
600 Soledad 78205
Ph. (210) 207-2500 · TYY (210) 207-2534 TDD · FAX (210) 207-2603
The bright-colored library is a bold departure from traditional Library design. The new Library has attracted a great deal of attention and has changed the face of downtown San Antonio.
The building was designed by renowned Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta in partnership with Sprinkle Robey Architects and Johnson-Dempsey & Associates of San Antonio. This design team was selected through a design competition held by the City of San Antonio in July 1991.
Legorreta is known internationally, although most of his work is found in Mexico including a house for actor Ricardo Montalban, Camino Real hotels in Cancun, Ixtapa and Mexico City, the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo in Monterey and the Managua Cathedral in Nicaragua. Legorreta studied and worked with the respected Mexican Architect Jose Villagran.
Light, color, walls, water, humor and conscience are the palette used by Ricardo Legorreta to produce the design for the new Central Library. “I wanted to break the concept that libraries are imposing,” said Legorreta. “I hope people will now enter the Library to admire its architecture but also stay and read as well.” The Legorreta design promotes the idea of the Library as a place to gather, relax and enjoy the world of ideas collected in the form of books, magazines, records, tapes and even visual art in the Library Gallery.
Interior designs were done by the San Antonio firm of Ford, Powell and Carson, inc. Many of the pieces in the Library were custom designs especially for this Library. The interior of the building also reflects a great commitment to provide the best accommodations for patrons of the Library.
The San Antonio voters approved a $28 million bond in 1989 to build the new Central Library. The bond issue also provided funds equipment and furniture/fixtures.
A $10 million Library Foundation Enhancement campaign targeting private funding sources raised $5 million from private donations that were matched with $5 million from the City of San Antonio budget allocations. These funds financed upgrades to the Library to create murals and art, add new computer equipment, purchase new materials, purchase durable furniture, and update the parking garage.
Construction began on July 1993 and the Central Library opened to the public on May 20, 1995.
The San Antonio Public Library is a collection of a Central Library and 24 branch libraries (as of the fall of 2007) that serve the City of San Antonio.
The Central Library is a 240,000-square foot, six-story structure that opened in 1995. The building is located in downtown San Antonio and is easily recognized by its bright-colored, striking Mexican Modernist design. The primary color of the building’s exterior is “Enchilada Red.”
The architect for the building was selected by a design competition held by the city in July of 1991. The winning design is by renowned Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta in partnership with Sprinkle Robey Architects and Johnson-Dempsey & Associates of San Antonio. Unique features of the library include a multi-story, bright yellow atrium and several outdoor plazas with landscaping and fountains intended to be used as outdoor reading rooms. In Legorreta’s own words: “I wanted to break the concept that libraries are imposing.”
Texas State Library and Archives Commission
San Antonio Public Library, Auditorium
San Antonio, Texas 78205
The San Antonio Public Library has been nicknamed the “Red Enchilada”—you’ll know it when you see it!
Project for Public Spaces
San Antonio Central Library
600 Soledad at Navarro Street
San Antonio, TX
Contributed by Project for Public Spaces
Built by an award-winning architect, this place exemplifies the type of object-focused architecture that is unconnected to anything around it.
27 February 1995, Newsweek, “You say tomato, I say I hate it,” pg. 10:
What color is the new Central Library in San Antonio, Texas? That depends on whom you ask. Among the nearly 1,000 (printable) entries to a name-that-hue contest in the San Antonio Express-News: Truly Repulsive Red, Bleeding-Heart-Liberal Red, Chile Upchuck, Dried-Blood-of-Taxpayers-Squeezed-Till-They-Bleed Red, Don’t-Look-at-It-With-a-Hangover Red, Burning Desire, Adobe Rose, Cream of Tomato Soup and, of course, Rusty Chevy. The winner and now official color: Enchilada Red. Well, maybe Enchilada Puree . . . In any case, says a resident of a park across the street from the new building, due to open in May: “It’s a hell of a color to wake up to.”
August 1995, School Library Journal, “Enchilada Red,” pg. 11:
Enchilada Red. That was the winning entry in a contest hem by the San Antonio (TX) Express-News to name the bold color of the city’s new central library. Responses ranged from the poetic (Adobe Rose) to the vitriolic (Dried-Blood-of-Taxpayers Squeezed-Till-They-Bleed Red). The 250, 000-square-foot structure opened May 20 with a day-long series of events attended by nearly 5,0000 people.
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Thursday, November 16, 2006 • Permalink