Cascade Park

Cascade Park

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Changing City

One day during my recent trip to Mexico City, I took a walk from my apartment and photographed some of the changes which are occurring in the city.

Just a short distance away in the neighborhood of Roma Norte is the Plaza Madrid.  In the center of this traffic circle at the intersection of several streets is an exact replica of the Cibeles Fountain of Madrid, Spain.  The fountain was built in 1980 as a gift from Spanish immigrants in Mexico.  In recent visits to Mexico City, I have seen that the plaza has been undergoing a renovation.  That work is now complete.  The fountain's sculptures have been restored, the traffic circle has been repaved and the green space around fountain has been beautified.

Just a few blocks away is Chapultepec Avenue.  This busy thoroughfare follows the route of an aqueduct which in Aztec times and later in the colonial era carried water from Chapultepec Hill into the city.  A small portion of the colonial aqueduct still stands in the middle of the avenue.

The multi-lane street carries heavy traffic and for pedestrians is a pain to cross.  Plans have been unveiled to create the Chapultepec Corridor. The project would move vehicular traffic to one side, have dedicated bus lanes, create pedestrian green spaces, and even have an elevated pedestrian walkway.
(image taken from the web)
Artist's conception of the proposed Chapultepec Corridor

It remains to be seen whether or not this project will get off the ground.  There have been charges of corruption (big surprise), and criticism that the money should be spent on neighborhoods that are in greater need of development.
A short walk beyond Chapultepec Avenue is the city's most famous boulevard, the Paseo de la Reforma.  On previous trips I have reported on the construction of new skyscrapers along that street.
The Torre Diana appears to be nearing completion.

The office building gets its name from the nearby Diana Fountain, which stands in the middle one of the many "glorietas" (traffic circles) which stud the boulevard.  I noticed that the fountain is also undergoing renovation.
Just down the street, work progresses on the Torre Reforma.  It surpasses its next-door neighbor, the Torre Mayor, which used to be the city's tallest building.

At the base of the Torre Reforma is one of the few remaining mansions which used to grace the boulevard.  It is being incorporated as a part of the entrance to the new office tower.
On the other side of the Torre Mayor, it seems that yet another construction project is underway.
Across the street, the Bancomer Building, the new headquarters of Mexico's largest bank, is finally complete and open for business.  In fact, the inauguration took place while I was down there.  Unfortunately, I didn't know that on opening day the public was allowed to go to the top floor for what must have been a spectacular view of the city.
From the terrace of Chapultepec Castle, you can see the changes in the city's skyline.
I took this photo in 2012.  The Torre Mayor dominates the scene.

I took this picture earlier this month, and, as you can see, the Torre Mayor no longer stands alone.


  1. Thanks for the update about the construction in and around Reforma. Nearby Constituyentes has the potential to be a lovely street, but managing the traffic will be the dominant challenge if they want to beautify the area.

    1. Yes. Constituyentes is another street with horrendous traffic. On this last trip I traveled it by foot from the metro station to the Dolores cemetery.
      Thanks for commenting!

  2. It was some years ago that Gary Denness and I were wandering around the Parque Alameda when we came across an architect's model showing the future of Reforma. It showed a boulevard lined with skyscrapers, which made me think that real estate anywhere nearby should be a good investment, as all the people who'd work in those skyscrapers wouldn't want to deal with traffic every day.

    Well, it seems to be coming true. And apartments in and around Reforma still seem to be reasonably priced. I worry a bit about the peso falling farther, but it seems to have found some stability here in the 16.5-16.7 range.

    As for Chapultepec, it has always seemed to be a horrible, ugly, noisy boulevard separating two otherwise fairly nice areas. Let's hope that the city's plan goes to fruition.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where all new construction is fought, tooth-and-nail.

    1. I just hope that the building boom in D.F. isn't a bubble that bursts. I see lots of signs throughout the city... "Office space available". Will they be able to fill all these skyscrapers?

    2. I do remember that....a funny little tented sort of display/exhibition thing. Or am I thinking of something else?

  3. Oh the memories. I used to have ice cream and coffee of an evening on Plaza Madrid. I loved that monument in the roundabout. I'm feeling most homesick at the thought of it. Oh why did I leave?!?!

    1. There are a number of restaurants around the Plaza Madrid. I've eaten at two of them. I'm sure you would love how they have spruced up the plaza.