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San Antonio Central Library

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1995, Legorreta Arquitectos, Sprinkle Robie, Milton Babbitt, and Ford, Powell and Carson. 600 Soledad St.
  • (Photograph by Gerald Moorhead )

The product of a nationwide architectural competition, the library was the first city-sponsored improvement to the cultural life of the city since HemisFair in 1968. Bold massing and bold colors give the library considerable impact in this area of downtown that has seen little new development and with most of the adjacent buildings rather passive in character. The outward form of the six-story library is a cube, with numerous insets for terraces, especially on the third floor where a pool lies just outside a reading room. The most startling feature is the bold sloped wall on the north side with a series of huge concrete spheres, a static-kinetic sculpture, that seem to be rolling down to the ground. Interior spaces are oriented around a central atrium, which is not discernable from the outside. In typical Legorreta fashion, the atrium walls are painted bright yellow, which serves to emphasize the strong daylight pouring in from skylights.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "San Antonio Central Library", [San Antonio, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: Central, South, and Gulf Coast, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 159-159.

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