The Palacio des Belles Arts is the #1 stop for Art Deco fans visiting Mexico City but there’s much more even within a reasonably short walk. Step out the front door of the Palacio (you’ll see the Art Deco Sears store across the street) and turn right (west) on Aveneda Juarez. After 8 blocks, you’ll come to a huge intersection. The good news is that you’ll be able to see the Monumento a la Revoluction. The bad news is that figuring out how to get across the intersection is tricky.
But oh boy, is it worth it. In fact, while you’re contemplating how to get though the intersection you can take in the streamlined El Moro building, home to the National Lottery. Using the Monumento as your reference point, make your way across the intersection such that you exit on Aveneda De La Republica.
You’ve done it! Mexico City has quite of bit of Art Deco civic architecture but this is my favorite. Like the Palacio des Belles Artes, the Monument to the Revolution was started well before the Art Deco era. But wars have a way of lousing things up and what was to have been a meeting chamber for legislators became an Art Deco monument and a tomb honoring the Mexican revolution and it’s heros.
The Monumento sits in the lovely Plaza de La Republica, surrounded by Art Deco lamps. Despite being “open” (I mean, it’s just an arch, right?) the Monumento manages to house a museum, art gallery, snack bar, gift shop and an elevator to the top. At this point I’ll let the photos tell the story.
From the top of the Monumento, you’ll see–what else–the Art Deco Fronton Mexico building, an exhibition hall. When you’re back on the ground, check out the very nice Aztec Deco decoration.
Our final stop for today is for urban explorers only. Again, I’ll let the photos do the talking. The Teatro Cine Opera, an abandoned Art Deco cinema is not too far from Plaza de La Republica. Face the Monumento a la Revolution in the same direction as when you arrived. But this time, walk straight through and out the other side. This street is Gomez Farias and after crossing Insurgentes Centro, if you walk 2 more blocks you’ll come to Serapio Rendon. Turn right on Serapio Rendon and in just under 2 blocks, you’ll come to the Cine Opera. Not everyone will want to walk this far to see a ruin, but you know who you are.
Our next installment will take us to Condessa and Roma–the heart of Mexico City’s Art Deco.