Jeanne Claire van Ryzin
April 29, 2012
"We could build a plain box, but we have the chance to build an iconic structure that will drive tourism and be a landmark for the city," said John Hogg, president of the museum board.
Mexic-Arte occupies a three-story building on the southeast corner of Congress Avenue and Fifth Street.
Conceptual plans by Mexican architect Fernando Romero show a cylindrically shaped six-story building clad in translucent material. Hogg said that the building's unusual shape is a reference to the Aztec calendar. "It's representative of Mexico and Mexican culture," he said.
At a proposed 54,000 square feet, about half of the building would be commercial office space that the museum would lease to generate income, Hogg said.
Mexic-Arte Museum already has $5 million in city money from a 2006 voter-approved bond package.
That money had originally been earmarked for a new building on the campus of the Mexican American Cultural Center, but museum leaders decided to remain on Congress Avenue.
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