“Up to 10 million will be invested in the Palacio para Exposiciones”
This is how the El Colombiano Newspaper titled a small note that reported on the result of the debate in the Municipal Council of the Draft Agreement lead by the Major of the moment, Jaime Tobón Villegas, who months earlier returned from Quito to Medellin with an achievement and a challenge: he had obtained the headquarters of a huge tourist Congress for our city. The challenge was to build a Convention center here.
The idea caught him in Quito when he met the one existing in the Ecuadorian capital. He wrote the Agreement Project to present it to the Medellin Council. Through the Agreement 18 of June 6, 1968, the support to its initiative of creating the Palacio de las Exposiciones was settled on.
The first provisional Board was attended by: Ignacio Vélez Escobar, Jorge Pérez Vásquez, José Gutiérrez Gómez, Darío Moreno Restrepo, Jaime Posada Ángel, Jorge Molina Moreno, Alejandro Uribe Escobar, Luis Fernando Cano Olano and Roberto Jairo Mejía Arango. The Board, joined by the first time on May 27, 1970, was in charge of the initial tasks for setting up what was already a legal reality.
A year after, on May 31, 1971, with Álvaro Villegas Moreno as the Mayor, The Sociedad Palacio de las Exposiciones S.A. was stablished. In the Public Deed 1563 is highlighted that the purpose of the newborn company was to show the industrial, commercial, and cultural strength of the city becoming the engine of the social and economic development. This society will be responsible for constructing, providing, and managing the building intended for the Coliseum or palacio de Exposiciones. From that moment and until 1974 Alfonso Uribe Melguizo accept the position of the first manager and had to guarantee the economic contribution, carry on the technical studies and plan the physical work.
The Initial project was complemented by Ignacio Vélez Escobar, the Major by that moment. To the space thought for fairs was added a room for exhibitions and a meeting, congresses, conventions center for national and international events. The President of the National Industrial Association – by its initials in Spanish ANDI – by that moment, José Gutiérrez Gómez received the task from the mayor to consolidate the support of the private company.
The Codein Ltda Firm was the entity in charge of excavating the land while Engeniering and Construction won the tender to deliver civil works of the first stage in a period of 15 moths. For the manufacturing and assembly of the ceiling of the main room the Alumnio Alcan of Colombia Company was hired.
1975 was the key for the Palace. The city was experiencing the fury of the celebration for its 300 years and started to promote the commercial idea of “Medellin, city of congresses”. In the middle of that festive atmosphere, the construction of the first phase was finished and it was inaugurated on August 21.
The Palace, as it was called by the citizens, entered the scene with to good fairs, industrial symbol from Medellin and focused to the textile and construction between September 1 and 7 Texmo 75 was launched “the most attractive showcase of the year” early predecessor of the emblematic Colombiamoda and Colombiatex and finally, on Thursday November 27 the Expocamacol 75 was inaugurated.
The facility formed by the Pabellón Amarillo and an entrance hall hosted the city’s more important exhibitions and events for more than twenty years. In the 1990 decade started the expansion of the Pabellones Azul y rojo located to the west toward the Medellin river when Luis Alfredo Ramos was the Mayor of Medellin and Gilberto Echeverri Mejía Antioquia’s governor.
Then, the accesses to the Pabellón rojo, Pabellon azul and Pabellon Amarillo were created, and the architect Javier Vera and the construction company Consur the roof and the walls of the Pabellon Blanco, and an antique hall were designed and built and inaugurated during one of the festivals of Inexmoda. During December 1993 the name Palacio de Exposiciones y Convenciones from Medellin is assumed.
During the administration of Mayor Luis Perez Gutiérrez, the following steps were taken for the development of what it will become the International Convention Center – CIC by its initials in Spanish. As a result of the decision to give life to the CIC, converge at the same scenario with similar or very close interests, the “Palacio de Exposiciones y Convenciones de Medellín S.A.” and the “Centro Internacional de Convenciones Ltda.”
In the middle of the need created by the new commercial environment of the country, the construction had its peak in the city that allowed the construction of the Centro Internacional de Convenciones to be built in record time. The Conconcreto, Convilla and AIA consortium constructed a modern architectural complex of 25.816 square meters in which they used 1.300 cubic meters and 1.500 ton of reinforcing steel.
The building that will host the CIC was built in the property occupied by stores and warehouses belonging to the missing Antioquia’s railroad and which then became property of The National Coffee Fund. The antique buildings were demolished for the construction of the new urban landmark. With the architectural design ready, the construction was tendered, and has two phases. First, the excavation, the structural work and then the finishes, the most extensive and complex part ended on April 1, 2005, when the Convention part was inaugurated.
The “Caja de Madera” is the symbol of the Plaza Mayor and the city icon. This fair center involves a space for conventions and congresses that became a reference. It has 470 strips in thin oak slats like a cube illuminated, as a “urban lamp, brand and symbol of the new Medellin” according to its designers, Giancarlo Mazzanti and Daniel Bonilla.
Since 2004 the Pabellón verde was conceived, the construction was anticipated during the administration of Alonso Salazar Jaramillo and ended and inaugurated during the administration of the Mayor Aníbal Gaviria Correa. It works with environmental sustainability references.
The Plaza Mayor Medellin S.A. born in the administration of Mayor Sergio Fajardo Valderrama, as a result of the legal integration initiated in March 2006. The purpose of the merger was to consolidate Medellin as the business destination of tourism, fairs, and conventions.
From its areas, pavilions, exhibition and convention rooms, Plaza Mayor is known as a platform of interaction and business as a strategy of internationalization. From its first stone for the Pabellon Amarillo, the fair and convention center, until today, Plaza Mayor has risen in the heart of Medellin as the space to embrace the city, the country and the world through its most important events and meetings.