Photos: Catedrales e Iglesias/Cathedrals and Churches, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
The Fatima Church (Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Fátima) is a great modernist work in the Colonia Irrigación in the very Northwest of Miguel Hidalgo. The church stands between one the most illustrious glorietas on the Avenida Legaria and a small park. The glorieta bears the name of a lake and dam in Monterrey, Presa Salinillas. The park bears the name of the dam on the Río Escame in Zacatecas. In fact, nearly all of the streets in the Colonia Irrigación bear the names of the great waterworks projects of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.
The Colonia Irrigación took shape in the mid-20th century on former industrial land. The factories had come to occupy the old Rancho Sotelo which was being divided up by the late 19th century. These factories were especially dedicated to processing agricultural products that came in on the railways and, later, to those surrounding the giant refinery to the north.
The Fatima church was begun in 1952 and dedicated some five years later. Its corner chapel though had already opened and welcomed parishioners in 1953. The architect is believed to have been one G. Ortega but records are not complete.
The neighborhood continued building. When the church opened, the enormous Club Mundet in the south of the neighborhood was already more than 15 years old. It’s provided a connection with the many communities calling Polanco home and some of the more prominent facilities in the club were designed with input from José Villagran García.
Later, the church welcomed parishioners from nearby Lomas de Sotelo and Loma Hermosa, to the north and west. Irrigación became a gigantic neighborhood of streets and avenues, some of them tree-lined, no longer surrounded by large factory lots, and became an area that seems to be made of glass and is home to the Museo Soumaya and the less striking but perhaps more interesting Jumex Museum. Currently, the whole area is awaiting the opening of the new U.S. embassy, in what was once one of the most emblematic areas of the neighborhood where the Colgate-Palmolive factory once stood proudly.
Ivan San Martín Córdova, 2016, Estructura, abstracción y sacralidad, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México