Restoring the original appearance of the façade of what was the old building of the Lehmann Library, based on ancient photographs, is the main objective of the restorations that will be carried out to the building in the coming days.
While the change in the type of commercial activity in the building of the former Lehmann Bookstore is a pity. It has given way to this restoration, Diego Meléndez, director of the Centro de Patrimonio Cultural (Cultural Heritage Centre), mentioned that we are recovering this emblematic Josefino heritage. and can appreciate it in a very similar way to how it was built a century ago.
The idea is that the façade of the building recovers the old appearance it had in 1914, when the building was built by the architect Gerardo Rovira with an elegant Neoclassical style.
Prior to the declaration of Historic-Architectural Heritage in 2016, a structure was attached to its entire front in order to create more exhibition space. Soon, the pilasters (decorative columns attached to the wall) that were cut by this modification, will continue to the ground and the windows from where the passer-by is seduced, will recover their original shape.
The works will be carried out in order to value the building and it can be used for commercial purposes, therefore, it must comply with the requirements established by the country’s legislation.
These requirements include creating access for persons with disabilities. Space for an evacuation route, sanitation services for clients, new pipe installation. And an electrical system that complies with the current code. The old building lacked mechanical and electrical systems.
Inside it will have an evacuation corridor adjacent to the wall on the east side that will lead to an emergency door with exit to the avenue. To enable this emergency exit, the existing ship that is disabled will be used, but will be visible from the removal of the structure that was attached to the façade some time ago.
In addition, the building will be completely painted, the glass on the ground floor will be replaced by one-piece tempered glass and will install awnings on each window to simulate what it had a century ago.
This information is supported by the old photographic material available, therefore the intervention is based on reliable information and not on assumptions or interpretations of the author, said Veronica Solórzano, architect of the Cultural Heritage Centre.
Solórzano added that, based on these photographs, when restoring the pilasters of the façade with their line to the ground, the lower plinth of the first level should be relocated to its original position.