By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
In November 2013, the local administration authorized the permits for the construction of a building on Antonio Abad at the corner of Insurgentes. Three weeks ago it was halted by the INAH (National Institute of Anthropology and History) due to the visual impact it would cause in the area, which did not respect the Federal Monuments Law.
Édgar Bautista, director of the Urban Development Department, distanced himself from the stoppage, saying that his department authorized the permits because the owners of the property met all the requirements to get the permits. Nevertheless, in one of its weekly inspections to confirm that builders are respecting federal laws of monuments, archeology, and artistic historical zones, INAH found out that the original project plans had been changed.
According to Bautista, INAH found that the construction was using a different iron system that was not specified in the original project document. If they used this material, said Bautista, the adjacent constructions would be structurally damaged, and the owners of those buildings would not have a legal commitment from the builders to respond to the impact. For that reason, the administration asked the construction owners to sign a response that would force them to pay for any damage to the adjacent buildings resulting from this construction. It has not been handed over. The INAH also discovered that the design of windows, doors and architecture facing San Antonio Abad was changed, and that it would visually impact two historical buildings, the municipal cemetery of San Juan de Dios and the former Hospital of San Rafael—now Hermanos Aldama school—which are cataloged as historical monuments.
Bautista remarked that the construction was halted to avoid irreparable damage. “We are taking care of the historic center because it is our commitment,” Bautista emphasized. He said that any damage to the municipal patrimony can be reported at the Word Heritage Department, Plaza Principal 4.