Mazatlan Carpa Olivera, from splendor to oblivion


With more than a century of existence, Carpa Olivera, site of the historical and recreational value of Mazatlan, has resisted the continuous official abandonment.

For 105 years, this stone pool on the seashore has endured the routine blow of the waves, the onslaught of hurricanes and the deterioration caused by the transit of people and the lack of maintenance.

Garbage, lama, bad smells, bathrooms that do not work and damage to the infrastructure in general, are proof of the lack of attention to an emblematic site for many generations of Mazatlecos.

But why is this site so important? Let’s go back to its origins to understand it.

Origin of the Olivera Tent

The spa was opened for the first time in 1914, according to the compilation of historical data offered by the page

The idea of ​​building a recreational space with Mazatlan Bay as the stage was chef Antonio Olivera, originally from Chile, who was inspired by the pools of the Lisbon Sea.

The Olivera Tent was opened in 1914. 

It is the force of nature that fills and renews the saltwater in the pool; It is the tides that promptly arrive at this place every day. From here you can also see the bay and its warm sunsets; That’s why it became so popular.

The pool was part of a project that originally included a restaurant where characters such as Pedro Infante, Ávila Camacho, Alemán and Ruiz Cortines met. This is how it became an important center of social coexistence.

Originally, the tent included a restaurant. 

It was in 1957 that a hurricane hit the coast, and forced the managers to temporarily close. In 1975 the fury of Hurricane Olivia hit the port and the property was destroyed.

In 2000 it was restored, but again it was forgotten.

Change image

In 2015 it was restored again. In June of that year, the then-mayor Carlos Felton González, in the company of the Governor of the State, Mario López Valdez, reopened the Olivera Carp.

The last restoration of Carpa Olivera was carried out in 2015. Photo: Urban Collective.

The work required an investment of 4 million 716 thousand 670 pesos and it was included a slide, bathrooms, ramps, benches, artistic lighting, intelligent fountains and a snack area.

Photo: Urban Collective.

On this occasion, a new design developed by the Urban Collective was incorporated that was then integrated by local architects: Jaqueline Mexueiro, Roberto Díaz, Javier Hidalgo, Emilio Castañón, Erick Pérez, and David Escobar.

The new architectural design was prepared by the Urban Collective.

According to the description presented by the group itself, the objective of the new design was to “reuse, clean and return to its splendor to this pool fed by the water of the tides; as well as integrating a new playful element: a spiral slide that dramatically promotes the social, local and tourist revival of the port where children and families will have fun. ”

Dancing sources no longer work. 
Photo: Urban Collective.

The project includes a commercial space whose concessionaire would also be in charge of its surveillance and maintenance without direct cost to the City Council. In the upper part, an access plaza was installed that functions as a viewpoint, a descent ramp surrounded by a stepped square that connects to an esplanade with an elongated bench and dancing fountains (which do not work).

In the background is a bathroom and shower module, which are also out of order.

According to the original project, the sculpture that fulfills the function of a slide should throw water so that the children could slide, which also does not happen.

They reward architectural design

On August 15, 2015, the Federation of Architects’ Associations of the Mexican Republic awarded the silver medal to the urban collective for the Carpa Olivera project in the category of “Open, recreational and landscape spaces”, within the framework of the IV Architecture Biennial.

Recognition granted to the Urban Collective.

The project also received favorable mentions in national and international magazines specialized in architecture.

Photo: Urban Collective.

Back to oblivion

Again, the Olivera Tent was forgotten; its infrastructure received no maintenance and over the years it deteriorated.

The current condition of Carpa Olivera. 
Photo: They are Beaches.

On Friday, April 19, 2019, the place was closed by the municipal government because risks were detected for bathers and for irregular use of the commercial concession, according to an official statement. However, the place remained open to the public and continues to receive no attention.

Lama on floors, stairs, and pool. 
Photo: They are Beaches.

As then, lama can be seen on the shore of the pool and on the stairs of the slide; deterioration of the structure in general and garbage, a lot of garbage.

The presence of garbage is constant. 
Photo: They are Beaches.

It is still possible to rescue her

Consulted separately, members of the Urban Collective considered that it is still possible to return the splendor to the Olive Carp.

“Of course, it can be restored, the ideal is to ask the Collective for the recovery project so that it does not lose its architectural quality,” said one of the members.

This is what the slide looks like today. 
Photo: They are Beaches.

The other option proposed is to create a board of trustees responsible for its maintenance and at the same time ensure that space is for public enjoyment, as is the case with the Lighthouse and the sister cities park.

Photo: They are Beaches.

While the authorities decide what will happen to this place, hundreds of locals and tourists continue to visit it.

Tourists and locals frequent the Carpa Olivera. 
Photo: They are Beaches.

In one of the areas with the greatest history and tradition of Mazatlan, Carpa Olivera is still standing, waiting for the tides, counting the years, accumulating encounters and disagreements, witnessing the history of the port.


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