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500 Years of Mexico City

This exhibition highlights the broad development patterns of the great City of Mexico, from its origins as the island capital of the Aztec Empire to its sprawling contemporary contours. Featured elements include significant architectural additions and other urban structures such as plazas and avenues that help to shift the orientation of the city and its life over time. This neatline map shows how the traditionally West-facing city which was once contained to the original island in the middle of Lake Texcoco grows in all directions over time, especially towards the end of the 19th century with the addition of the Paseo de la Reforma connecting the historic center with Chapultepec. In the 20th century, the seismic growth of modernism helped to shift Mexico City's orientation towards the south with developments such as the University City (UNAM) located in the rocky outcrop in the southern basin, the Pedregal.