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The Postal Palace: Palacio de Correos de México

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More Styles than You’re Going to Remember

The Postal Palace (Palacio de Correos de México) is an architectural treat. In mixed Art Nouveau, Spanish Renaissance Revival, Plateresque, Spanish Rococo style, Elizabethan Gothic, Elizabethan Plateresque, and Venetian Gothic Revival there’s a lot to look at. Noteworthy elements are also Moorish, Neoclassical, Baroque, and Art Deco.

Built by the Italian, Adamo Boari and Mexican, Gonzalo Garita in 1902, the building opened in 1907 in the waning years of the Porfirato. It was intended, then as now, as a main city post office. To be fair, upon its introduction, the notion of a national postal system was considered extravagant, too.

The Postal Palace is stock full of gargoyles, marble ornaments, and elaborate plaster work. Staircases are made of Mexican marbles and the bronzes were cast in the Fonderia Pignone in Florence, Italy. The clock in the main building was imported from Germany by the Dienner Brothers and La Perla jewelers. This needed to be re-assembled in Mexico, with rope mechanisms, electrical devices, and hydraulic transmissions for pulleys, counterweights, and cables. And of course, there’s a six-bell chime.

Inside, marble floors and shelves are combined with bronze and iron window frames. These, too came from Florence. The stairways cross on the second floor landing, after which they move off in their own directions. Meeting rooms contains frescos by Bartolomé Gallotti painted over a base of 24 carat gold. Themes relate to the history of written communication and the sending of messages.

The building continues to serve the postal service. It also contains a museum with displays of tools of the trade and historical documents. The second floor is devoted to the permanent exhibition on Postal Culture. There’s an interactive room, and an introduction to Philately. The library contains 8,500 volumes and 240 historical documents dating from 1580 to 1900.

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