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The Edificio La Nacional stands at the corner of Eje Central and Avenida Juárez, just opposite the Palacio de Bellas Artes. In the photo above, the original building is to the left. The Annex, sometimes called La Nacional II, is to the right.
The building went up between 1929 and 1932 and it was the tallest building for its time. It was superseded by a few others within the same decade. But it’s well loved as being one of very few buildings of any height which has survived Mexico City’s history of strong and dangerous earthquakes. The architect was Manuel Ortiz Monasterio who had been the director of the National Architecture School. He was assisted by Bernardo Calderon who designed the 100 foundation piles on which the building stands. The building was only finally damaged, and then slightly, by an earthquake in 2012 when it was 80 years old.
The name comes from La Companía Nacional de Seguros, i.e.; the National Insurance Company. “La Nacional II,” on the right in the photo, was built in 1949 as an annex. The Sears store is of most interest to international visitors for the outstanding views of the Bellas Artes Palace. These are especially good from the coffee shop patio seating area on the eighth floor.