Complejo Cultural de Los Pinos
The Casa Miguel Alemán
Map
General information
Architectural styleNeoclassical
Eclectic
AddressCasa Miguel Alemán, PB, Col. San Miguel Chapultepec, 11850, Mexico City
Coordinates19°24′56″N 99°11′29″W / 19.41556°N 99.19139°W / 19.41556; -99.19139
Technical details
Structural systemCasa Miguel Alemán
Casa Lázaro Cardenas
Casa Anexa
Jardines
Plaza Francisco I. Madero
Calzada de la Democracia
Molino del Rey
Design and construction
Architect(s)Multiple
Manuel Giraud Esteva designed the Casa Miguel Alemán

Los Pinos (English: The Pines) was the official residence and office of the President of Mexico from 1934 to 2018. Located in the Bosque de Chapultepec (Chapultepec Forest) in central Mexico City, it became the presidential seat in 1934, when Gen. Lázaro Cárdenas became the first president to live there. The term Los Pinos became a metonym for the Presidency of Mexico.

Since December 2018, the former presidential complex has operated as a cultural space.

History

Lázaro Cárdenas House, formerly used as a guest residence for foreign dignitaries.

After the Spanish Conquest, around 1550, a trapiche (mill) was built in Chapultepec, where wheat and maize were processed into flour.[1] This mill became so important that it was later called the Molino del Rey ("The King's Mill").[1]

In 1853, the Molino del Rey was sold to Doctor José Pablo Martínez del Río, who built the Casa Grande ("Grand House") that would later become known as Rancho La Hormiga ("The Ant Ranch"). In 1865, the whole property was sold to Emperor Maximilian for a total of 25,000 Mexican pesos. Following the 1867 overthrow and execution of Maximilian, the property was, in 1872, returned to Doctor Martínez del Río.[2]

Government residence

President Enrique Peña Nieto meets with former U.S. President Bill Clinton in Los Pinos, February 2015.
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan in the gardens of Los Pinos during a visit in September 2014.

In 1917, with the end of the armed phase of the Mexican Revolution, President Venustiano Carranza expropriated the properties. So that his most trustworthy cabinet member could live there, he paid N$886,473 for both the property and the construction of a residence that would be close to Chapultepec Castle, which at the time was used as the official residence. Because of this, the first inhabitant of the residence was Álvaro Obregón, while he held the post of Navy and War Secretary.[1] After his tenure, the residence was unused.

In 1934, President Lázaro Cárdenas took office but refused to use the Castle of Chapultepec as his official residence, as he thought it too ostentatious. He was offered use of Rancho la Hormiga (The Ant Ranch), which he accepted. He changed its name to Los Pinos (The Pines) for two reasons: first, he did not consider the name La Hormiga to be accordant with the residence of a President and, second, he promised his wife that when he became president, the house they shared would be named after the huerta in Tacámbaro, Michoacan, where they met.[1]

Los Pinos was home to thirteen of the fourteen presidents in office between 1935 and 2018, with the exception of Adolfo López Mateos (1958–1964).[3] In 2000, President Vicente Fox chose one of the nearby cottages as his home and the Casa Miguel Alemán (residence of most prior presidents) was used for offices and other government functions.

Cultural space

Presidential Office at Los Pinos

In 2018, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, at the time a candidate for the Mexican presidency, announced that he would not live in Los Pinos if he won the election and would instead open the residence to the public.[4] López Obrador won the election, and Los Pinos was opened to the public on December 1, 2018, the day of López Obrador's presidential inauguration. López Obrador moved the presidential offices back to the National Palace where he currently lives.[5]

In 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico, doctors and nurses were housed at the complex.[6]

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Los Pinos: historia de la casa del próximo Presidente de México". Animal Politico. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  2. ^ "La historia de Los Pinos". El Universal. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  3. ^ Becerril, Andrés (11 November 2018). "Los Pinos, el poder como inquilino; se acerca el fin de una era". Excélsior (in Spanish). Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  4. ^ Partlow, Joshua (4 June 2018). "If he becomes president, this man will turn Mexico's White House into a public park". Washington Post. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  5. ^ Sieff, Kevin (1 December 2018). "Mexico's president has turned the presidential mansion into a museum". Washington Post. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Mexico turns ex-presidential residence into coronavirus base for nurses, doctors". Reuters. 8 May 2020. Retrieved 6 February 2021.