A Tour Around Mexico City

Through its street, discover the city and the eras that shaped it

CDMX058 zócalo arboladoGustavo Casasola Collection

Discover Mexico City

Within Gustavo Casasola´s Collection, we find a large section called ‘Mexico City,' with hundreds of photographs that depict the evolution of this city. Mexico City is full of contrasts and open to change, and these black and white images capture the passing of time. We explore the buildings that have endured and those that have ceased to exist and we see how everyday life continues to shift and change according to the needs of the population. This tour isn’t chronological, but rather it starts in the heart of the city, the Zocalo, wanders across the famous city center streets and emblematic spaces, and finishes in the column of independence. Through its streets, discover Mexico City and the eras that shaped it. 

The Zocalo with its trees and gardensGustavo Casasola Collection

Mexico City’s first public square

‘Plaza de la Constitución,’ also known as the Zocalo, is located in the heart of Mexico City. The Zocalo is encompassed by the ‘Catedral Metropolitana,’ ‘Palacio Legislativo,’ and 'Palacio de Gobierno de la Ciudad de México', as well as the vestiges of the Aztec’s ‘Templo Mayor.’  

Corner of Moneda and Jesus MaríaGustavo Casasola Collection

Moneda Street with Jesús María Street are located within Perimeter A of the historical city center.

Moneda streetGustavo Casasola Collection

Numbers 16 and 18 of Moneda Street used to be the 'Mayorazgo de Guerrero' houses. Given that their facades were similar, they were named the houses of the sun and the moon respectively.

CDMX058 zócalo arboladoGustavo Casasola Collection

Here we see the Zocalo, the ‘Gobierno de la Ciudad de México’ building, the Deputation Alley, which would later on make way for 20th November Street.

Madero streetGustavo Casasola Collection

Madero Street

Throughout history, this street has had many names, from 'San Juan de Letrán' to 'Isabel la Catolica', it was known as San Francisco Street, and further down the avenue it changed to Profesa Street, and as it approached the Zocalo it was known as the Plateros Street in honor of the jewelers that were located there. It was renamed Francisco I. Madero  in honor of Francisco Villa, and there we can find emblematic buildings such as the 'Casa de los Azulejos', the old Iturbide palace, Profesa Church and the Temple San Felipe de Jesús, among others. 

La Profesa Church by Guillermo KahloGustavo Casasola Collection

This is an image of the Profesa Church in 1904, the street that bypassed the building was renamed Profesa in its honor, and inside you can find a 'retablo' designed by Manuel Tolsá

Casa de los AzulejosGustavo Casasola Collection

On Madero Street there was a small plaza called ‘Plazuela de Guardiola’ and a house that was acquired by the Escandón family and was later destroyed in 1938, and next to it the House of the Counts of Orizaba, better known as ‘Casa de los Azulejos.’

Casa de los AzulejosGustavo Casasola Collection

The ‘Casa de los Azulejos’ has borne witness to key historical events and in 1917 it became the iconic Sanborns restaurant.

CDMX122 Av san juan de letránGustavo Casasola Collection

San Juan de Letrán

Originally Eje Central was made up of 9 segments, ‘Ajusco’ ,’Panamá’, ‘Niño perdido’, ‘San Juan de Letrán’, ‘Ruíz de Alarcón’, ‘Aquiles Serdán’, ‘Leyva’, ‘Santa María la Redonda,’ and ‘Abundio Martínez’. ‘San Juan de Letrán’ occupies the city center area, from Salto de Agua to Madero Street, and the intersection of these important avenues prompted the creation of the Eje Central Lázaro Cardenas. 

CDMX037 San juan de letránGustavo Casasola Collection

During the fifties, San Juan de Letrán became a symbol of modernity, as one of the tallest buildings of Latin America would begin its construction in it

A Semi Permanent Street Stall in the Corner Of The Arcos de BelénGustavo Casasola Collection

Fuente de Salto del Agua located between Eje Central and Arcos de Belén is a fountain that formed part of the aqueduct systems of the city and was built during the prehispanic era by Nezahualcóyotl

Everyday Life of the City by Gustavo Casasola ZapataGustavo Casasola Collection

As we travel down Arcos de Belén street, it reaches Chapultepec avenue and in this image we can spot the tram tracks.

CDMXII061 Av Juárez, Edificio la NacionalGustavo Casasola Collection

Juarez Avenue

Juarez Avenue houses one of the most iconic buildings in Mexico City, the 'Palacio de Bellas Artes'. It is one of the most popular cultural destinations and next to it is the Alameda park, which was built in 1592 and is a favorite meeting point for the population. At the beginning of the avenue we find the 'La Nacional' building, which was finished in 1934 and marked the start of the modern era in the city, for it was considered to be the first skyscraper in the country. The ex convent of Corpus Christi that used to house the daughters of indigenous leaders no longer exists but the building continues to stand in the avenue. 

CDMX090 Av Juarez, casa de los condes GuardiolaGustavo Casasola Collection

In the background we can see the house of the Counts of Guardiola, which was later purchased by the Escandón family. The townhouse was torn down and the Guardiola Building was erected and today it houses the Bank of Mexico.

Palace of Fine ArtsGustavo Casasola Collection

In San Juan de Leran and Juarez Avenue intersection we find one of the most emblematic and majestic buildings of the city, the 'Palacio de Bellas Artes.'

Palace of fine artsGustavo Casasola Collection

The Palacio de Bellas Artes underwent different construction stages, the first was from 1904 to 1912 and led by the architect Adamo Boari, and the second stage began in 1928 under the supervision of Mexican architect Federico Mariscal

CDMX169 Pérgolas de la AlamedaGustavo Casasola Collection

The 'Alameda Central' was built in 1592 and is considered to be the oldest public park in Latin America

CDMX164 Av. juárez alamedaGustavo Casasola Collection

In Juarez Avenue we can observe the 'Alameda Central' and the unfinished dome of the 'Palacio de Bellas Artes.'

Juarez avenueGustavo Casasola Collection

Traveling down the Juarez Avenue we also encounter other emblematic avenues, such as the Paseo de la Reforma. In this crossing we can observe the National Lottery building and the statue of Charles IV

CDMX178 Cruce entre Av. Juárez y paseo de la reformaGustavo Casasola Collection

Here we see the Yves Limantour home and in the background, we can spot the 'Alameda Central' and on the right the statue of Charles IV by sculptor, Manuel Tolsá

View from the Monument to the RevolutionGustavo Casasola Collection

Monument to the revolution 

After years of neglect, the project was resumed, however it would have a different focus, rather than being the legislative palace, it would become a building for public use, commemorating the Mexican Revolution 

206Gustavo Casasola Collection

A sumptuous and decadent building that would serve as the senate and legislative palace was to be built to commemorate the centenary of the independence; however, the political turmoil that ravaged the country put a stop to the construction

Monument to the RevolutionGustavo Casasola Collection

In 1933 the construction was resumed and the architect, Carlos Obregón Santacilia finished the building and renamed it Monumento a la Revolución.

Credits: Story

Casasola México
Vania Casasola Cordoba
Gustavo Casasola Salamanca
Izchel Gaviña González

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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