Big cities are recognized by the size of their buildings, and Mexico City is a thriving metropolis, where the country’s financial hub beats in its skyscrapers and business centers. These steel and concrete giants are also architectural gems that fill the capital city with personality in areas such as the Paseo de la Reforma, Polanco, Bosques de las Lomas, Palmas and Santa Fe, among others.
The fever for large buildings began in the 20’s in the United States and quickly moved to Mexico City. The city’s first skyscrapers were the Corcuera building, El Moro and the Anahuac Tower, considered as skyscrapers because they are higher than the pinnacle of the Metropolitan Cathedral, which is only 200 feet tall.
Downtown, just a few feet from the Fine Arts Palace, in the streets of Madero and the Eje Central Lazaro Cardenas, sits the Torre Latinoamericana (Madero and the Eje Central Lazaro Cardenas). With its height of 600 feet and its 44 floors, this building was the highest in Latin America at the time it was inaugurated on April 30, 1948. It was the first building bearing a glass façade, and the first skyscraper to be built on an area of high seismic risk. Today, it boasts a lookout open to the public, from where you will be able to capture the best postcards of the historic center and of the city.
The building that overthrew the so called “latin tower” was the World Trade Center located on Insurgentes Sur avenue, on Montecito Street number 38, in the Napoles neighborhood; this building stands 679 feet tall, divided into 48 floors. It is one of the few buildings in the world to have withstood, undamaged, five strong earthquakes.
With the arrival of the large foreign investment companies, large and modern corporate buildings began to appear. Such is the case of the Torre Arcos (Paseo de los Tamarindos nº 400) one of the most original buildings in all of the country, due to its arched design that has earned it the nickname of “Edificio del Pantalón” (the Trouser Building). 542 feet and 34 floors have the additional advantage of being constructed on one of the highest areas of the city, at least 8,366 feet above sea level, offering an astonishing view of the whole valley of Mexico. The building houses some of the most important companies in the world that are present in our country, including the Microsoft office.
The Arcos Bosques II Tower is an almost twin sister of its predecessor. Only 10 feet shorter than Tower I, it is a compendium of two buildings joined in the center. In addition to being the headquarters of some large companies, these towers house one of the most exclusive and discreet shopping centers in the city, where prestigious brands have their shops; among its restaurants, there is one owned by actor Robert De Niro and a five star hotel.
Today, the Paseo de la Reforma boasts some of the most modern, avant garde and highest buildings in the country. One of them is the Torre Libertad (Freedom Tower) (located on Paseo de la Reforma #439) 492 feet tall, housing the St. Regis Hotel and enjoying a enviable view of the statue of Diana the Huntress, an icon of the Mexican capital. At the time, it was the first hotel of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide chain of hotels in Latin America.
However, the tallest building in Mexico City, and throughout the country, is the aptly named Torre Mayor (Paseo de la Reforma 505) 755 feet tall. Located on Paseo de la Reforma 505, this 55-story building is already a benchmark in the urban landscape of Mexico City, despite the fact it was built only ten years ago. At the time of its inauguration in 2003, it was the tallest building in Latin America until 2010, when it was surpassed by the Ocean Two in Panama. Despite having been surpassed in height, it is said that there is no building that surpasses the Torre Mayor in safety and resilience, as it is considered one of the skyscrapers with the greatest seismic resistance in the world, with a maximum tolerance of 9.0 in the Richter scale.
If you are visiting the city, be sure not to miss the opportunity to visit these giants that give character to important avenues and provide the city with a cosmopolitan air in areas such as Santa Fe, Paseo de la Reforma or Polanco, where you will also be able to spend a fun afternoon shopping.