FOR the many Southern Californians who relocated or built second homes in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, finding building materials such as timber wasn't the only challenge. Quality furnishings were often scarce too.
But in the last few years, the hunt has gotten considerably easier, thanks to the Fabrica La Aurora art and design center. The former textile factory is San Miguel's open-to-the-public version of the Pacific Design Center.
On Calzada de la Aurora, at the edge of town via the road to Dolores Hidalgo, the 4-year-old facility has become a major resource for builders, architects, interior designers and homeowners.
In the Aurora's 30-plus stores and galleries, shoppers will find the work of internationally known artists, as well as the offerings of furniture makers, antique dealers and one of the best architectural bookstores this side of Hennessey & Ingalls. Browse through fine linens, church pews, massive stone columns, even architectural plans.