PRESERVATION OF COMPANY TOWNS IN MEXICO
Free (open access)
235 - 245
ALEJANDRO ACOSTA COLLAZO
A company town used to be a community that included services like work and housing, but also stores. The main buildings of a company town were the enterprise buildings, but for several reasons the whole built complex – including houses – are considered as a company town. The first company town in Mexico was La Constancia Mexicana in the state of Puebla, but there were some other company towns spread out in the whole country. In this paper, some company towns situated in different states of Mexico (Oaxaca, Tlaxcala, Puebla, Jalisco and Aguascalientes) were chosen for this study. Several preservation problems were detected, for example, the city of Aguascalientes continues to grow on the western side of it; hence, changing its historic sites. So, it is important to improve historic preservation, but also pursuing prosperity around cultural sites. The newest social housing projects and private developments nearby San Ignacio company town become a problem for the future of the building; therefore, cultural sustainability becomes a priority. A preservation option that some governments have a tendency to apply is the conversion of the historic buildings to museums, but not all the cases have to do with this practice. It is through a study of the taxonomic classification of architectural characteristics of company towns in Mexico that interpretive centres can help demonstrate the importance of their conservation and regeneration. Also, they can play a part in raising historical awareness. The paper can contribute to improve social and cultural issues of a city or a state. Besides, the final results could help city planning to advance in sustainability of architectural heritage sites. Preservation of company towns in Mexico can be instrumental in developing cultural identity. Also, recognition of significant historical facts of industrial heritage can help to stop the loss of several iconic buildings.
company towns, historic preservation, sustainability, cultural identity