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Club de Banqueros

Photos: Catedrales e Iglesias/Cathedrals and Churches, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

The Club de Banqueros today occupies an 18th-century religious complex. The Club is an events venue run by the Association of Banks of Mexico. The venue occupies most of the former Colegio de Niñas, or the Colegio de Doncellas, which lent its name to the Plaza directly to the east.

The building was begun in the the 16th century as the Colegio de Niñas. The first Viceroy, Antonio de Mendoza, supported the founding of the school to shelter and educate mixed-race girls. This took place in 1548. It’s said to have been the first of its kind in the Americas. The monks dedicated it to Santa María de la Caridad, Saint Mary of Charity. Still, the first rector was a lay-woman and the institution remained secular throughout its long life. The purchase of adjoining properties lasted until the lot where the church stands today was bought in 1585.

Begun in a rented house, the facilities were expanded already in the 16th century to include space and room for classes in reading, writing, singing, and music. The school facilities we see today were built between 1767 and 1772. Although the institution survived as long as did New Spain, it had shrunk in prestige by the end of the colonial period. By 1862, in the wake of the Religious Reform, the school closed. The few remaining residents were forced to move to the Colegio de las Vizcainas and the building was sold. The remainder of the 19th century saw numerous tenants and uses put to the buildings.

In 1909, the property was converted to the Teatro Colón, opened by President Porfirio Díaz. It remained an important performing arts venue even after the Mexican Revolution. In 1934, the name was changed again to the Imperial Cinema. This, too, was eventually entirely abandoned. A thorough renovation began only in 1991.

The work of architect, Ricardo Legorreta, can especially be noted in the façade along 16 de septiembre. The Club de Banqueros de México made the facility their headquarters after the renovation concluded in 1994. Today, the Club hosts an events venue that rents the facilities for meetings and weddings.

The temple was restored to religious use and remains dedicated to Nuestra Señora de la Caridad. It has entrances on both Bolívar and Venustiano Carranza streets.

How to get here
  • 16 de Septiembre 27, Centro Histórico, Alc. Cuauhtémoc, 06000 CDMX

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