I take plenty of photos of architecture in Mexico City. And beyond, when I get the chance. I just like the lines, colours, character, stories and even personalities that buildings have. The time and trouble that went into making them. I photograph new buildings, old buildings, glass building, concrete buildings. Colonial and contemporary. Art Deco and Art Devoid. Shining frontages and peeling paint.
Can you guess where I was stood when I took the photo of the building above? Somewhere slightly down trodden, you might think. A somewhat unsalubrious neighbourhood. Actually, I was just across from the Benito Juarez Monument, by Parque Alameda. A one minute walk to Bellas Artes in one direction, or a minute to Reforma the other direction. This building sits right next to the giant glass shod Hilton hotel. This is prime real estate in Mexico City.
And yet this building, like so many within a stone’s through, is neglected, run down, heading for a date with a bulldozer. I’d love to be a property developer at times like this. The building has style. It is no art deco masterpiece, but it has potential. And it wouldn’t cost a fortune to bring it back to life. A good lick of paint. Some new glass for the windows. Some subtle upward lighting to highlight it’s edges and the fabulous art deco styled letters I’d use to spell out the buildings name – Edeficio Garrapata, perhaps. Oh, and the ornate sunburst design I’ll slap on the front.
That penthouse, with the balcony – what a fabulous place to live. High enough to dim the noise. Not so high that you can’t still look up at Torre Latino Americano. With a view of Mexico City life 24/7. And the resale price would be enormous. Ok. Dream time over. We’ll have to wait and see who win. The developer with the bulldozer. The philanthropist with a love for art deco. Or time, with it’s power to rot anything.