In 1989 San Antonio voters approved a $28 million bond to build the new Central Library on the site of the former Sears Building; an additional $10 million was raised by the Library Foundation from public and private funding and donations. These funds allowed for upgrades to the Library to create murals and art, add new computer equipment, purchase new materials, purchase durable furniture, and update the parking garage.
As the result of the architectural design competition in July of 1991, the design team of renowned Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta in partnership with Sprinkle Robey Architects and Johnson-Dempsey & Associates of San Antonio were selected. Legorreta is known internationally, designing buildings that include the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo in Monterey and the Managua Cathedral in Nicaragua.
Construction began on July 1993 and the Central Library opened to the public on May 20, 1995, with six above-ground floors and seating capacity for 1,300.The bright-colored, 240,000 SF Library is a bold departure from traditional library design, and has changed the face of downtown San Antonio. Interior designs were done by the San Antonio firm of Ford, Powell and Carson, Inc., with many of the pieces created especially for this Library. Light, color, walls, water, humor and conscience are the palette used by Ricardo Legorreta to produce the design for the new Central Library. This design promotes the idea of the Library as a place to gather, relax and enjoy the world of ideas collected in print and online, from books and magazines to music, movies and downloadable resources.
- Via US 281 S: Exit IH 35 S. Exit upper level at Brooklyn/McCullough. Take access road to Main. Left on Main. Left on first street
after bank (Giraud). Left at stop sign.
- Via IH 35 S: Take lower level to Lexington/Main/San Pedro exit. Take access road to Main. Left on Main. Left on first street after
bank (Giraud). Left at stop sign.
- Via IH 10 E: Exit IH 35 N to Austin. Exit Brooklyn/McCullough. Right on McCullough, .3 miles to August St. Right on Augusta to
Parking for approximately 400 cars is located directly south of the Library in a multilevel City owned and operated parking garage.
The garage entrance is on Soledad Street. Cash or credit cards only,
NOTE: If you are visiting the Central Library, please bring your ticket with you. Tickets are validated at the Central Library 1st floor Information Desk near the public computer area. This is a self-service process and only takes a few seconds. Staff will be happy to help if you have any questions.
- No charge (First 3 hours free)
- Flat Rate: $5.00
- Lost Ticket: $12.00
- Monthly: $50.00
Via Bus Routes
- Nearby Routes: 3, 4, 90, 95, 96, 97
- You can use trip planning tools on ViaInfo.net