Arts & Culture
2:27 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

San Antonio Recognized As One Of 27 "Fascinating" Libraries In the World

It seems that San Antonio built one of the most fascinating libraries in the world according to a new CNN iReport feature.

“We were one of several libraries, 27 libraries actually, that were viewed as fascinating libraries,” said Ramiro Salazar, director of the Central Library.

CNN iReport asked its readers to send in pictures to document their favorite libraries. Readers from Seattle to Dublin to Taipei to Prague to San Antonio sent pictures in.

"Obviously, we’re extremely pleased,” said Salazar.

The striking enchilada-red library was a lightning rod when it was first designed in 1995 by Ricardo Legoretta. The Mexican Modernist building features multiple angular geometric shapes, plazas, fountains and playful architectural details. People tended to love it — or to hate it.

“It was a bold approach to a library," said Salazar. "Obviously the color was quite a deviation of what you find downtown.”

I had to point out the obvious: “And yet, it’s enchilada red — isn’t that appropriate?”

“I think it is for this community,” Salazar agreed.

Also prominent at the Central Library: Art. Salazar detailed some of its permanent displays.

“We have a Botero, we have a Chihuly, we have a Jesse Treviño, we have a Jesse Amado,” he said.

Probably the most photographed of their art is the massive Dale Chihuly glass sculpture hanging several stories above the main lobby.

“Do you get a whole lot of OMG?” I asked of the reaction from people walking into the lobby.

He laughed and said, "Yes! And lots of photos!”