Tlatelolco and the Modernist Dream in Mexico City

Detail of Sunset at Tlatelolco
Photo by Michael Waldrep — Click to enlarge

Officially the Conjunto Urbano Presidente Adolfo López Mateos de Nonoalco Tlatelolco (*phew*), the district of Tlatelolco is today a fascinating vestige of mid-century Mexico’s modernist past, and—what I like even more—a vision of a future that could have been. As I continue to try to understand the current face of urbanization on Mexico City’s edges, it seems more and more as if a useful perspective might be found in the prototypes of housing in the city’s past.

The sun sets over the housing block at Tlatelolco. — Photo by Michael Waldrep, Click to Enlarge

Though located near to the city center, before the conquest, Tlatelolco was a separate but allied kingdom to Tenochtitlan (the primary city of pre-hispanic Mexico City), and was the site of a massive market. By the 20th century, much of the site was taken up by a massive train yard connected to Buenavista station. As in Philadelphia and, more recently, New —> Read More Here


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