With buildings built in the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the Historic Center of Mazatlan shows a new face
Joaquín López Hernández, historian and researcher, assures that the presence of foreign businessmen was and continues to be fundamental for the economic and architectural growth of Mazatlan.
The rapid development of the city was reflected in the construction of houses, especially those that had architectural details copied from European farms.
Joaquín López Hernández, archaeologist and historian.
Many of the mansions owned by foreign businessmen, he said, covered entire blocks and by their finishes could be distinguished from the humble homes that inhabited the common citizen.
The Presidio, what is now Villa Union, was the seed of Mazatlan in 1531, most of the population was there, while in the Islands, as this city was known, the disembarkation of the goods was made.
It was in 1828 when the Islands began to populate, leaving the Presidio. It took its name, Mazatlán, because of the abundance of deer in the area.
The commercial and cultural boom, explained the historian, occurred at the time of President Porfirio Diaz (1876-1911), led by Germans and French residents in the City.
In that period, the port presented a considerable change in its architecture, in which some buildings of that time are still preserved, in what is now known as the Historic Center.
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and the reconstructed theater Ángela Peralta, formerly Teatro Rubio, are just some examples of the historic buildings of the city.
And although it is located outside the first square, the Fort March 31 is another building representative of the time, which was built after the historic defense of the port against the powerful French army, which aboard the ship “La Cordeliere” in 1864, tried to invade Mazatlan.
Surprisingly, the heirs of those who lived in the old port area migrated to other states of the country or abroad, and abandoned their buildings. Little by little that space was left desolate, with a few neighbors who saw how the mansions fell into decay.
“The climate of the city is a factor that has seriously affected the buildings, built mainly with mud, which was the material of the time,” he said.
The passage of time and the lack of maintenance of their owners also had a serious impact on the infrastructure of most of the buildings in the Mazatlan Center.
And during the triennium of the municipal president, Antonio Toledo Corro (1960-1962), there were drastic changes that paid to the greater sinking of the zone.
This was because the municipal president implemented a program to expand streets, which forced “cut” many of the buildings that blocked the way.
“Toño Toledo ordered the extension of Benito Juárez Street, which was an alley, and because all the facades of the houses that were crossed had to be knocked down, as it happened with buildings like the restaurant Topolo”.
TO THE RESCUE
During the administration of the governor, Francisco Labastida Ochoa, 1987-1992, interest began to rescue part of the first picture of the city, which would be a trigger for the tourism sector.
López Hernández explained that it was the writer from Mazatlan Antonio Haas Espinosa de Los Monteros who had the interest to change the face of that part of the port so that he returned to the early years in which he admired the bonanza of the city.
The reconstruction of the Ángela Peralta theater, which was inaugurated in 1874, was the trigger for the Historic Center of Mazatlan to rise like the Phoenix from its ashes.
This property, he said, was followed by others such as the Portales de Canobbio building, which dates back to 1880 and which in 1897 housed the offices of the Bank of London and currently presents a series of changes, but which is still an attractive place for the area. .
The historian assures us that for many they are simply old houses, but for the foreign citizen, mainly the American, they are places with history, that seek to preserve and live in them.
“These buildings are the best preserved and most of them are in private hands because they know, know and appreciate the history of the port, through these buildings.”
The foreigner, especially the United States, likes to preserve history, and the visit they make to the municipality makes them fall in love with the city, its Historical Center, he said.
As a contrast, he qualified that other people, inhabitants of other countries, who are interested in Mazatlan, to preserve what is part of its historical passage.
During 2017 and 2018, the Historic Center was renovated, its streets and sidewalks were paved to give it new life, all with a view to showing a new face during the Tourism Tianguis of Mexico.
On March 12, 2001, the decree was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation declaring a part of the Historical Center of Mazatlán as a Historic Monuments Zone.
That area includes 180 blocks, 479 buildings with historical value, built during the nineteenth and the first quarter of the twentieth, including the temple of San José and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
Source: El Sol de Mazatlan
The Mazatlan Post