The Old Guard House of the Castle of Chapultepec was built in 1889 when a number of changes were made to the Castillo de Chapultepec. It’s just at the entrance to the road leading up to the castle.
By the Porfirato period (1876-1911), the castle was no longer the Military Academy that had valiantly defended the republic during the USA invasion (1847-48). Though it had served as a palace for Maximiliano I (1864-67), thereafter the castle had fallen into disrepair.
This guard house was built under Treasury Secretary, José Yves Limantour’s efforts to imitate the great city forests of Europe. The Calzada del Rey, which runs from here south and then westward, dates from the same time. From the mid-20th century the building was known as the House of Mirrors. Though not quite so dignified a use, it was a popular park attraction for nearly that entire time.
The building was thoroughly rehabbed between 2006 and 2007. It then housed a series of temporary photographic exhibitions. As it is an important landmark in Chapultepec Park, it’s housed similar exhibitions in the intervening years.
Today most people will encounter the Old Guard House before climbing the hill to the Castle. It’s but one of dozens of important landmarks in and around Mexico City’s most important urban forest.