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Casa Manzanares 25
Descriptive report of the project
In the old Barrio de La Merced neighborhood, east of Mexico City’s historical center, the house at 25 Manzanares Street raises its voice as the only 16th-century townhouse located in the city. The data are significant and generate doubts among some specialists. At the same time, it renewed the interest in the study of a transcendent architectural and urban planning period for the development of the metropolis. The most skeptical believe that it is a 17th-century building because it is difficult for a 16th-century construction to have survived the urban transformations and the ravages of natural phenomena that characterized the city’s evolution.
Beyond the expected controversy generated by news of this type, the existing technical studies place this house in this temporality. Thus, it was possible to change its destiny, preserve it, and avoid the destruction of important relics of the ancient civil architecture of the city of New Spain.
The building denotes an orderly and simple architecture in which one distinguishes original materials and elements of interior design with indigenous influence and Renaissance contributions made by Europeans who had just arrived in the city.
The project results from a process of more than ten years, from its transfer to the city’s public domain, through studies and resource management, to its restoration and opening as a cultural space centered on the neighborhood’s child population. The restoration was the most critical step in reviving this building and putting it at the service of one of the most vulnerable sectors of the city, becoming an example of exceptional heritage recovered as an element of social cohesion.
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