José Vasconcelos Library
Mexico City's Vasconcelos Library, labeled by the press as the "Megabiblioteca" ("megalibrary"), is dedicated to José Vasconcelos, the former philosopher, presidential candidate and president of the National Library of Mexico. The library is spread across 38,000 square metres (409,000 sq ft) and had an initial planned cost of 954 million pesos (roughly US$98 million). The Congress of Mexico proposed plans to reduce the budget of 2006 that included cuts for all three branches of government. National Action Party (PAN) presented an alternative budget that preserved funds for Enciclomedia and the José Vasconcelos Library.
Fox inaugurated the library on 16 May 2006, and stated that this was one of the most advanced constructions of the 21st century, and that it would be spoken of throughout the world. This inauguration took place a week before the deadline the president had to promote his accomplishments before the 2006 presidential election.
The library had to close in March 2007 due to construction defects. The Superior Auditor of the Federation detected 36 construction irregularities and issued 13 motions of responsibility for public servants of the federal government. Among the irregularities found was the misplacement of marble blocks at a cost of 15 million pesos (roughly 1.4 million dollars).
The library is located in downtown Delegación Cuauhtémoc at the Buenavista train station where the metro, suburban train, and metrobus meet. It is adorned by several sculptures by Mexican artists, including Gabriel Orozco's Ballena (Whale), prominently located at the centre of the building.
It was reopened to the public in November 2008 after 22 months.
The winning proposal for the library was designed by the Mexican architect, Alberto Kalach.
- Arranca la megabiblioteca, May 11, 2006.
- En orden los recursos de Biblioteca Vasconcelos: CAPFCE, April 4, 2006.
- Attorney General.
- Inaugura Fox megabiblioteca "José Vasconcelos", May 16, 2006.
- La Biblioteca Vasconcelos, Universia, May 18, 2006.
- La ASF pide fincar responsabilidad a funcionarios de Vicente Fox, March 30, 2007.
- Ronda Kaysen. Kalach’s Mexico City Library Shuttered. Architectural Record, May 22, 2007. URL:http://archrecord.construction.com/news/daily/archives/070522kalach.asp. Accessed: 2010-11-11. (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/5uA0MVKG1)
- 32 mdp más a la ´megabiblioteca´, El Universal, May 31, 2007.
- Biblioteca Vasconcelos — Official website
- TAX: BIBLIOTECA PÚBLICA DE MÉXICO | CIUDAD DE MEXICO — project page at architect's site