Understanding the Cárcamo Museum means taking a second look at the fountains at the end of the Chapultepec Aqueduct near the Chapultepec Metro, at Salto del Agua, or perhaps even more clearly at the end of the Guadalupe Aqueduct in the Parque del Mestizaje/Gustavo A. Madero Park. For this structure once fulfilled a similar function, albeit for a different and much bigger 20th century system of providing water from the Lerma River system to the city’s west.
Often referred to as the Cárcamo de Lerma or the Cárcamo de Dolores, what is today the museum is the culmination of some nine years of work by engineers, Eduardo Molina Arévalo and Guillermo Torres. The building that provided the capstone to the water system was designed by architect Ricardo Rivas.
To top off the entire project, Diego Rivera was brought in to complete the world’s only underwater murals. Water, Source of Life is but the most famous, and the fact is, they’re impressive works whether they’re immersed in water or not.
Rivera intended the considerable work as a tribute to the hundreds of laborers, engineers, and architects who’d worked to complete the massive waterworks project which still supplies water to the city today. He painted more than 200 square meters, which are still visible albeit through the water.
A restoration of the Tláloc Fountain (pictured above, outdoors) and the renovation of the hydraulic facilities took place in 2010. Today, it’s part of the Museum of Natural History and Environmental Culture, and inside and outside, there’s a lot to look at.