Universidad 1601 – Mexico City, Mexico - Atlas Obscura

Universidad 1601

Legend says the building's unusual features were added at the request of a paranoid president. 


This building on University Avenue in the neighborhood of Coyoacán seems rather unremarkable. It does not have memorable architecture, nor any famous inhabitants. However, it is part of one of the most unusual urban legends in Coyoacán.

According to the rumor, in the ’80s, toward the end of his presidential term, Miguel de la Madrid returned to his home in Coyoacán on Calle de Parras #46. From his garden, he saw an in-progress apartment building on the other side of the street, which worried him.

Fearing that one day the building’s future residents could attack him with a weapon or that his privacy would be violated, he ordered the building’s architects to cover all the windows so people couldn’t see his property. Instead of permanently shuttering all the windows, the architects used eaves over the cover of the building that overlooked the president’s house.

In reality, the eaves were part of the building’s original plan, as they were meant to prevent summer sunlight from directly entering the building. But this nugget of truth hasn’t stopped the popular rumor about the president from persisting. 

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December 3, 2019

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