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The Centro Cultural Juan Rulfo is one of the first cultural centers of its kind in Mexico City. Opened as Casa de Cultura de Mixcoac in 1975, it’s been a center of learning and exchange ever since.
In 1979, the artist Francisco Othon Eppens Helguera painted a giant mural inside the main entrance. Titled “Quetzalcóatl” or “Nuestras Raíces Culturales” (Our Cultural Roots) , the painting covers nearly all of four entryway walls. Eppens is probably most famous for redesigning the Mexican Coat of Arms, still used by the government to this day. His giant work is also visible on the face of the Faculty of Medicine at UNAM – CU.
In 1986, the center was re-named the Centro Cultural Juan Rulfo. It was entirely remodeled and reopened on February 22, 2020.
The building dates from the early 20th century. President Porfirio Díaz intended it to serve as the headquarters of the Mixcoac prefecture of the time. It later served as the delegation seat for what’s today the Benito Juárez alcaldía. It did for a while.
But the building is arguably most famous for hosting the trial of the dreaded José de León y Toral and Madre Conchita. This was for the assassination of President Álvaro Obregón soon after his re-election. The shocking event took places at the Bombilla Restaurant, today’s Parque de la Bombilla. A Roman Catholic activist, León Toral was sentenced to death and executed by firing squad at the Lecumberri Palace. Madre Conchita, a Catholic nun, was sentenced to 20 years for her role in the plot. She served 13.
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