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Edificio La Mexicana, Madero

Photos: Luisalvaz, Wojciech Kocot, Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

The Edificio La Mexicana is one of the noteworthy buildings on the important Avenida Madero in the City Center. The corner-facing entrance is right at the busy corner of Isabel La Catolica, another prominent street. Perhaps as much as anything, the building’s main tenant, the Spanish fashion retailer Zara, occupying some three floors, seems to draw attention to the building’s long history.

The building went up between 1905 and 1907 on the site of the former La Concordia café. That 19th-century eatery had opened in 1868 and came to be a legendary haunt of Mexico City’s intellectual class. But having fallen out of fashion, the older building was demolished much to the lament of the City’s writers, reporters, artists, and shoppers. An insurance company, La Mexicana, hired architect Genaro Alcorta in the early 20th century to design and erect their considerable headquarters.

Alcorta built the entire structure around a new steel frame. He notedly used vertical lines not only to lighten the appearance of the building, but to draw the eye continually upward. That seems to still be working some 120 years later.

Just across the street from the La Profesa Church, today’s Edificio La Mexicana recalls a very different historical center and one mostly long gone. It’s among the architectural periods least-known to many visitors, but one that’s always rewarding to looking into.

…Y esto qué…, 2008,

How to get here
  • Francisco I. Madero #53, Col. Centro.


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