The Antigua Casa de Moneda is a remarkable 17th century building in the Tlalpan Historic Center. It actually seems to lend its gravity and grace to the entire neighborhood. It’s been a Middle School for as long as anyone living can remember, (well, since 1957). But the buildings walls bear far more history still.
Built late in the 17th Century, it was originally a hospice built by one of the area missionary services. It came be to known as the Casa de la Cadena and remained a private residence for more than 100 years. After Mexican Independence, it came to be home to the Governor of Estado de Mexico. Lorenzo Zavala sold the home to the State which used it briefly as the seat of Government, and then as the state mint. Tlalpan was the Capital of the State of Mexico from The Casa de Moneda name has never been dropped. A few rare examples of the coins minted here are in the National Numismatic Museum.
The mint lasted just from 1828 to 1830 when it was closed at significant losses to the state. There’s not much historical record of the building until USA troops requisitioned the building during the Battles of Churubusco and Padierna. Both battlefields are nearby. As such, some of Juárez’s troops also stayed here during the 1858 Reforma wars.
During the Second Mexican Empire, the Empress Carlota spent some nights here during her visits to Tlalpan. She often traveled to Cuernavaca via Tlalpan. It housed Zapatista troops during the early years of the Mexican Revolution, and later Infantry Battalions of the Mexican Army. Since 1954, the Secondary School No. 29 has taught generations of students from the same place.
The elegant inverted arches still shade the street below. It’s been called Calle Moneda since the late 1820s.