The official seat of the Chamber of Deputies and the Congress of Union, the Legislative Palace is on the site of the former San Lázaro railway station. Built by order of then-President José López Portillo, it was part of a larger development program in the whole country, and especially for this section of the eastern part of the city center.
Opened on September 1st, in 1981, in 1988 the building was severely damaged in a fire, and had to be extensively rehabbed. It only reopened in 1992.
As the permanent meeting place of the Chamber of Deputies (equivalent to the US House of Representatives or the UK’s House of Commons), it’s also the seat of the whole Congress of the Union, when the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house) convenes in conjunction with the Senate (the upper house, roughly equivalent to the UK’s House of Lords).
A little history
After passage of a political reform law in 1977, the number of deputies in the Chamber increased from 186 to 400. The former meeting place, the Legislative Palace on Donceles, was overnight too small. That facility is now occupied by the Mexico City Legislative Assembly.
Importantly, another Legislative Palace project, begun in 1897, was eventually interrupted by the Mexican Revolution (1910 – 1920). Newly elected president Francisco I. Madero continued to fund that project until 1913. It then lay unfinished until it was converted into the Monument to the Revolution and only finally completed in 1938.
Construction finally began on this new Legislative Palace as part of a plan to rehabilitate the area where the San Lázaro Station had been closed between the Venustiano Carranza and Cuauhtémoc alcaldias. A new Palace of Federal Justice was built at roughly the same time in the same area.
Most visitors from the general public are made to the Legislative Museum, although the museum helps to coordinate tours of some of the rest of the facility. You can get there via Metro San Lazaro.