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The Antiguo Palacio del Ayuntamiento is the main seat of the Mexico City government. It’s home to a small museum and several galleries which are open to the public. The Cabildos Hall and the Francisco Gamoneda Documentation Center are also inside the building. The first City Council meeting was held here on May 10, 1532.
The building was begun under the orders of Hernán Cortés in 1522. An early version opened between 1527 and 1532. The earliest building undoubtedly used stones from the earlier Mexica temples. Built like a fortress, it served a function in protecting inhabitants from those forbidden to settle in the area. Only the foundations and a few walls of the original City Hall building remain.
In 1714, the City Hall was rebuilt in the Peninsular Baroque style, with arches and ornaments. That remodeling left it with much of its present appearance.
For the Centenary of the Independence in 1910, a further restoration gave the outside appearance the look we see today. That followed nearly 20 years of renovations to the building. A fourth floor was added only in 1934. That coincided with planning for the twin Government of Mexico City Building next door. Construction began in 1941, and both buildings reopened in 1948. The Supreme Court building, on the southeast corner of the Zócalo, was built between 1935 and 1941. That largely completed the southern edge of the Zocalo.
The Palacio del Ayuntamiento remains a particular focus of pride for the City. It’s the sight of frequent press conferences and some official events which will occasionally limit public access.