Founded in 1925, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Library is one of the main public libraries in Azcapotzalco. It’s especially famous for the murals, titled Azcapotzalco Landscape painted by a 20-year-old Juan O’Gorman in 1926.
The murals have been restored numerous times, most recently in 2017. Archival photographs allowed restoration experts, this time, to reproduce parts of the mural almost entirely destroyed and these were left uncolored (as shown on the right side of the photo above).
As the library is situated in the center of Azcapotzalco, it makes a nice stop off for those visiting the churches or the House of Culture.
Juan O’Gorman is remembered, most prominently, for his murals on the outside of the Central Library building of the UNAM, and, as an architect, for the Diego and Frida House – Studio Museum.
The library’s namesake, Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, was a 16th century colonialist who became a social reformer, historian and Dominican Friar based on his experiences in New Spain. He remains a highly controversial figure, perhaps most interestingly, as in the 19th century he became useful for those arguing for and against both the British and the Spanish empires.
The Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Library is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and weekends until 7 p.m. It is a public library and entrance is free.