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Edifice complexity…

4 April 2022

Even the most overlooked buildings can tell us a story… and in Mexico City, the story is often as complicated as the city itself. One always assumes (and you know what’s said about people who “assume”) that the city is “Indian” and “Spanish”. But… consider 33 calle Lopez.

It’s in the heart of the Barrio Chino, but… during a period when Chinese Mexicans were largely confined to that neighborhood, it wasn’t the Chinese who occupied the building, but the Club Alemán… originally a social club for German immigrants… and, in the late 1930s, a gathering spot for a group that, shall we say, took a rather dim view of multi-culturalism.

Three days after Mexico declared war on Germany in May 1942, it was seized by the city government… and what else should a German club in a Chinese neighborhood house… but a Mayan speaking Triquí community.

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