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Pedro de Arrieta

Of the architect Pedro de Arrieta very little beyond his extraordinary buildings is known. Most sources agree that he was likely born in Real de Minas de Pachuca, the city of Pachuca today, in today's state of Hidalgo. There is a possibility he came early in life from Spain.

The year of his birth is only to be deduced from the date on which he received a master's degree from of the architects' guild. This was on June 12, 1691, and so scholars suspect he must have been born in the early 1660s.

The best sources for scholars hoping to understand Arrieta's work are from the copious lists he himself left of his projects. The better part of these extraordinary works are listed below. (Although the sites listed are not entirely his own). In 1720 he ascended to the position of Maestro Major de la Catedral y del Reyno, that is, to something like Grand Master of the Cathedral of the King. Suffice it to say, he touched nearly every prominent public work undertaken until his death in 1738.

In 1735, the Master Pedro de Arrieta, along with five other architects came up with a plan for Mexico City. This is today kept in the collection of the National History Museum at the Chapultepec Castle (and hence, the building's inclusion in the list below). The plan was intended to regulate the quality of constructions and to ensure that architects undertook these buildings for the benefit of society. What amounted to an enormous, early map of Mexico City is today known as the Plano de Pedro de Arrieta. It's an extraordinary record, and not least, because it survives in such condition and from a time when Mexico City might well have been considered the very Capital of the Western World.

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