The Edificio Ermita is the first sign that international visitors have ventured out of La Condesa. Directly south and west, it’s visible from many of the intersections and neighborhoods in the area. At the important intersection of Jalisco and Revolución Avenues, it’s a historical landmark and one of the most influential works of architecture in the first half of the 20th century.
The building was designed by architect Juan Segura Gutiérrez (1898-1989). He’s best known for residential works, mostly in the central parts of the city. His most prominent works, like this one, were built for the Mier y Pesado family. Their foundation, just a block south on Calle Antonio Maceo, was a major patron. This building replaced an extravagant Neo-Classical archway that marked the entrance to their home.
Begun in 1930, and finished within two years, the Ermita building has always had a symbolic value for the exiled Spanish. Many lived in the building which has a variety of different sized, but smaller, living quarters. It was a prominent meeting and gathering point as many of them lived here temporarily.
The building is still owned by the Mier y Pesado Foundation. A major non-profit foundation, it was founded by Isabel Pesado De la Llave, the Duchess of Mier, in memory of her late husband and their son.
Since the beginning, the building has always had an avant-garde slant. The cinema has closed, but the street-level shops continue to serve smaller independent businesses, and the many living spaces upstairs are nearly always occupied. Roughly equidistant between Metros Tacubaya and Patriotismo, it’s a sure sign you’ve entered a very different Mexico City.