Barrio Alameda is that rare success story of a complete rehab and restoration that seems to only happen in Mexico City. While more northerly cities would have torn down this striking landmark building in the 1970s or even earlier, here it’s perfectly ready for your visit. And what a visit it will be.
Built in 1920 by a doctor from Germany, it was a striking example of Mexican Art Deco even then. It remained a viable professional services building for most of the 20th century. Eventually, it fell into a state of neglect and stood essentially vacant.
Only in 2015 a group called Acha finished up the project of rehabbing the building and again offering leases to commercial tenants. Facing east, toward Alameda Central, it’s been a remarkable success story. The attention to original detail is, in and of itself, a rare and respectable achievement.
Lots of visitors will head straight to La Azotea, the nearly always-crowded rooftop patio. That’s ok, as you’ll need to climb a few flights of stairs. Along the way, notice the light fixtures, the original finishings, and the remarkable degree of care that’s gone into refurbishing the place.
Every floor you pass is home to curious and interesting retailers (plus a few office spaces). An urban meeting point, there’s also a good hotel on the premises, plus a project laboratory, and a whole variety of places to have a drink, enjoy a meal, or just take in the scenery. There aren’t many shopping centers in the city (or anywhere) where looking around inside is as interesting as seeing what’s on sale, or even what are, in fact, very respectable views, too.