San Antonio’s famous Central Library is getting a major renovation, including new paint job

The beloved “Big Enchilada” library in downtown San Antonio is undergoing a multi-million dollar facelift — literally, improvements include a new paint job.

The San Antonio Public Library system on Wednesday gave an update on the major renovations on the first and third floors as well as the building’s first fresh coat of paint in 11 years.

“Painting the library’s façade is a technical process that must be completed with a high level of precision to ensure the building is restored to its original brilliant red hue,” SAPL said in a news release. “The facility’s color is one of its most recognizable architectural details.”

The repainting is underway and is scheduled for completion in the spring. It was funded through the city’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget process.

The renovations on the first floor include a redesign of the main entrance for improved accessibility and security, the release states. The main service desk will also be redesigned.

On the third floor, the children’s area will be redesigned to include a new story room, early literacy play area, flexible programming space and computer lab for families.

The indoor renovations, totaling $3 million, were funded through the 2017-2022 bond program and also include improvements to the existing Texana/Genealogy Department on the sixth floor.

Work inside the building already started and should be finished by late 2022.

“Our services extend far beyond the walls of our Libraries, but our facilities are the home base,” Library Director Ramiro S. Salazar said in the release. “For over 25 years, Central Library has been the crown jewel of our Library system. These facility improvements will maintain Central Library’s status as a dynamic destination for information, imagination, and ideas for everyone.”

While construction is underway, a select browsing collection and computer access will be available on the first floor. The teen library on the third floor is available to teenagers, and the used book store in the basement is still open.

For more information, call 210-207-2500 or visit or

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