New plaza at San Antonio Central Library

Plaza design spurs critics, admirers

SAN ANTONIO - A new $300,000 plaza at the San Antonio Central Library is set to open in October at the corner of Navarro Street and Augusta Street.

It could be a place to enjoy a good book on a nice day, but not everyone is enjoying the look of the library’s newest addition.

“This would look fine in some of our parks,” said Carol Wood, who is unhappy with the design. “But here it is just completely out of place.”

Some critics believe the limestone design doesn't flow well next to the library's modern structure, which was created by the late architect Ricardo Legorreta.

"They said they didn’t want to interfere with Legoretta's design, but somehow we ended up with this cluttered look,” Wood said.

Cibolo-based landscape architect C2 Landgroup created the plaza design, which was approved by the Library Board of Trustees and the city's Historic Design and Review Commission.

“You know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” said library director, Ramiro Salazar. “We think this is an enhancement to the Central Library. It will be another destination point for the community."

“I think it looks really good. I think it took a lot of imagination to come up with something like that,” said Richard Noriega, a frequent library user. “You don’t see libraries like this.”

The plaza was built for public use and events such as author readings or children's activities.

The library said it does not yet have estimates on maintenance costs or how much it will cost to operate the plaza’s new underground irrigation system, which the library said is a more effective and greener option than surface watering. 

“It brings the greenery to it. Because this red is just, you know, a big red library,” said Raiya Mashal, a frequent library visitor. “It is a nice color, but this brings more life to the library when you see the plants."

You can share your thoughts on the new library plaza on the KSAT 12 Facebook page.

For a list of recent stories Myra Arthur has done, click here.


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