Torre Latinoamericana

Torre Latinoamericana, Mexico CIty-Mexico, Augusto H. Álvarez
Construction year: 1956
Address: Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas 2, Centro | MEXICO CITY | Mexico | Visit Website
Latitude/Longitude: 19.43388, -99.14055

The Torre Latinoamericana was the tallest skyscraper in the center of Mexico City until 1984. Due to its height (188 m and 44 floors) and its history, it was recognized as one of the most important attractions in the city. It was also recognized internationally as mechanical and architectural landmark as it was the first skyscraper in the world which was successfully built in such an earthquake-prone area and managed to withstand the strong earthquake of 1985 without losses.

The project was planned and executed by Zeevaert brothers, Mexican civil engineers born in Veracruz. Nathan M. Newmark was the main consultant of the project and Augusto H. Álvarez was the architect. The design consists of a metal frame structure and deep piles. This method was necessary since the Mexico City suffers from frequent earthquakes and because of the muddy soil texture of the earth it was really difficult to construct buildings in it. Before the construction, both engineers carried out a series of geotechnical studies at the site and planned the building structure program corresponding to the study results. Today it is a common and mandatory practice, but at the time was quite an innovative process. The tower gained fame when withstood the 7.9 Richter earthquake in 1957 and that was because of the excellent design and strength.

Due to this achievement was recognized by the American Institute of Construction Steel and took the award for “the tallest building ever exposed to an enormous seismic force”. However, Torre Latinoamericana suffered an even greater test, the earthquake of 8.1 Richer inSeptember 1985, which destroyed many buildings in Mexico city. Torre Latinoamericana was once again left without any serious problems and after that it was the symbol of safety in Mexico city. Today, the tower is considered one of the safest buildings in the city despite the potentially dangerous position.

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