Mexic-Arte seeking $10 million from city for new downtown building

Saying that they want to bring a $30 million iconic building to a prominent downtown corner, backers of Mexic-Arte Museum are asking the City of Austin for $10 million in bond money to be included in the November bond election. The conceptual architecture plans are by Mexican architect Fernando Romero with Austin architect and Texas Society of Architects member Juan Cotera, FAIA, as the architect of record.

Mexic-Arte: Fernando Romero

Austin American-Statesman

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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