There’s a building in Mexico City that has for a long time rather bugged me. Distrito Federal is home to a few skyscrapers that tower above the skyline – three in particular. Torre Mayor, the tallest of them all sits on Reforma. The World Trade Center is an icon on Insurgentes. And of course Torre Latinoamericana, the grand pappy of the Mexico City towers. They’re all well known and oft visited landmarks.
But there’s another one. An extraordinary looking building that towers as majestically above its neighbourhood as the other three. Its triangular, pyramid like silhouette sitting further up Insurgentes in the rather less fashionable hood of Tlateloco. I’ve long wondered what this building was, and why it’s never mentioned, like a dirty little secret.
It’s Torre Insignia, although it has gone by other names in the past, Torre Banobras (after the name of a bank that owned it) and the Nonoalco Tlatelolco Tower. It was built in the very early ’60s, at the time the second tallest skyscraper, and built well – it has withstood three major earthquakes measuring over 7 on the Richter scale, and one measuring 8.1 – that, of course, being 1985.
But today it stands desolate and abandoned. I went for a stroll around it, and the signs of neglect and rampant graffiti abuse, from the inside are obvious. I did read somewhere sometime ago that there are plans to redevelop it and return it to it’s former glory. I hope so. It’d be nice to hear a tune from the giant carillon at the top, with the 5 ton Hidalgo bell sending it’s boom across the city Big Ben style.
But I saw little going on to suggest any major works are imminent. There did seem to be someone a few floors up using a blow torch. And two workmen rolled a pair of barrels up to a door and inside. I was tempted to go in after them and explore. There must be some awesome photo opportunities in there. Maybe another time. Does anyone know who owns this building and what might happen to it? Photo? Click here. They are mixed in with a few of the Monument of the Revolution.