The Many Lives of a Skyscraper
The Torre Latinoamericana is the most popular viewing platform of the few there are in Mexico City. It’s a favorite destination for visitors from abroad, and you’re just as likely to meet longtime residents on your way up.
At 44 stories, the skycraper stands at 166 meters in height and extends some distance into the lakebed and bedrock beneath the city. It was the tallest building in the city from 1956 until 1982 when the Pemex Tower opened.
It’s famous worldwide as the first skyscraper successfully built in a highly active seismic zone.
Current occupants include the Museo del Bicentenario, the Miralto restaurant, a permanent and temporary exhibitions, a café and the most famous viewing platform in the city.
Quick facts on the Building
- Architect Augusto H. Álvarez began construction in 1949.
- It took 8 years to finish the building.
- The tower occupies space once home to Moctezuma II’s menagerie of animals, believed to have been a zoo.
- Later the San Francisco Monastery occupied the site until the Reformation in the 19th century.
- La Latinoamericana, Seguros, S.A. was an insurance company for which the building is still named today. The insurances offices were in a smaller building at the same location, but the same company still occupies and co-owns parts of the building.
- The building stands on 361 specially designed piles driven depth of 33 m beneath the tower.
- The building is said to float on an underground foundation, regardless of the support provided by the piles.
- When completed it was the 45th tallest building in the world and the tallest in Latin America.
- The Torre Latinoamericana includes 28,000 square meters of office space.
- As a historic monument, the appearance of the building facade cannot be altered.