Michael Waldrep: Outward from Within—Mexico City

It’s tough to talk about a periphery without first talking about a center. I’m not planning to be too terribly strict with my definition of the “periphery” of the city over the course of my time in Mexico City; after all, with ever traffic jam and with every bus delay, the mental distances within a city yawn wider. When your train is delayed, it’s easy to feel on the margins, and (with investment in infrastructure, anyway) it’s easy to feel connected as well. In any case, I’ll come to the topic of delineating the extents of the city, the reaches that are the subject of the project. That’s the hard question. Spotting the center of the city–in many ways the center of the country– is strangely simple.

The Zocalo, formally the Plaza de la Constitution, is bounded by buildings housing the center of the Catholic church in the city, the country’s Federal Government, and the government of the Federal District. A massive expanse of volcanic stone, a plaza that can hold 100,000 people, the Zocalo is the center of the Centro Histórico, the historic core of the city and, by tradition, its heart. Political and religious powers are given architectural form —> Read More Here


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