INAH recognizes the municipal protection and rescue program of “casonas”

On July 31st, INAH spoke out about the casonas in Merida´s Historical Center. INAH officials believe that “maintenance and repair of these properties are the owner´s responsibility”.
INAH considers these old structures to be a matter of significant opportunity. The National Coordinator of Historical Monuments makes it clear:  “They should not be disposed of, rather they should be used as a source of income and job opportunity, especially considering their value as a touristic attraction”.
Over the last few months the Ayuntamiento has been erecting wooden fencing around selected buildings to reduce the likelihood of accidents or injuries.  These were recently visited by a federal official, who was introduced to two programs maintained by the municipal authorities:  “Atención a Predios en Riesgo” (Attention to Properties at Risk) and el de “Rescate de Fachadas” (Renovation of Facades).
Afterwards the official stated “INAH´s purpose is to protect these buildings, but we also understand that it is necessary to maintain real-estate values in this area. It is our job to protect and conserve, but it is also the owner’s responsibility to maintain these properties. The worst thing that can happen is for these properties to be abandoned, and if the owners don’t maintain them, they will continue to deteriorate and ultimately fail.”
Fenced properties on Calle 71, Centro
Balandrano Campos, INAH National Coordinator of Historic Monuments, referred to a law that provides an obligation to preserve the casonas in Merida because they are one of the main attractions that identify the city as one of the most beautiful in the country.
During the visit, the Sub Director of Government Operations, Enrique Alcocer Basto informed the INAH representative that 29 buildings have been fenced off because they are at risk of collapsing.  “We are looking to not only rescue, but also to recuperate.” More than 850 buildings have already benefited from this program.
INAH intends to meet the owners halfway to make sure the properties aren’t abandoned:  “The owner pays for the building material and we pay for the workers. This is how we keep the program going.”  Alcocer Basto concluded.
The Government has accepted these terms and representatives are meeting today in Mexico City to finalize a new agreement.
Abandoned property on Calle 60, Centro.
Abandoned property on Calle 60, Centro.
Here is a summary of five of Merida’s historic neighborhoods:
  • Santiago: 14 homes for rent, 71 for sale, 10 under construction, 3 vacant and 76 abandoned
  • Santa Ana: 53 for rent, 130 for sale, 28 under construction, 13 vacant and 126 abandoned
  • San Sebastian: 15 for rent, 102 for sale, 11 under construction, 14 vacant and 120 abandoned
  • San Cristobal: 39 for rent, 71 for sale, 4 under construction, 5 vacant and 143 abandoned
  • Mejorada: 32 for rent, 64 for sale, 3 under construction, 7 vacant and 176 abandoned
TOTAL: 153 for rent, 438 for sale, 56 under construction, 42 vacant and 641 abandoned 



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