Photos: Catedrales e Iglesias/Cathedrals and Churches, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Nuestra Señora Reina de la Paz Church is one of the highlights of the Verónica Anzures neighborhood. In English, it will sometimes be called Our Lady Queen of Peace, but the church has been a standout since it opened in 1952. Construction had begun in 1949 and the tall cylindrical form of the church has been talked about ever since.
The church was the design of architects Ernesto Gómez Gallardo and Ricardo de Robina Rothiot. The pair won a competition intended to select the best original design in 1949. That design was for a small church facing the border with Anzures proper. That’s, of course, the busy Ejército Nacional Avenue. Once an easy stroll that connected Polanco with now distant Colonia Cuauhtémoc, the avenue’s expansion in the 1970s cut deeply into the church’s space and local importance.
The addition of a metal fence and a pedestrian overpass only further diminished the church’s visual impact. Although the church retains something of a small atrium, the structure stands out in sharp contrast to its residential surroundings. It also argues against dismissing all 20th-century church architecture. While it is well-lit inside, parishioners aren’t distracted no matter how busy the avenue outside. That’s thanks to a seeming lack of side windows. The near perfect cylinder, still largely unadorned, remains notable among ornate Mexico City churches.