City Hall plans restorations, but hundreds of historic properties in Merida’s Centro are still in decline

Merida Centro homes in need of renovation catch the eye of some American real estate investors. (PHOTO:

Many houses in the historic center of Merida seem enchanted princesses, with the ogre of indifference keeping them asleep in time and part of them disappearing before they’re kissed by a prince and regain the life and beauty of yesteryear.

Marred by deterioration, these properties degrade in turn the historic center, where ruins and neglect abound more than rescued properties that show their former charm.

Many Merida Centro homes are still in need of renovation. (PHOTO:
Many Merida Centro homes are still in need of renovation. (PHOTO:

In this past year some of those premises were lost, due to apparent indifference. Others were vandalized, and most continued to suffer neglect. Still, some managed to be rescued.

In the four months since Merida Mayor Mauricio Vila Dosal took office, 14 facades in the Historic Center were restored, according to Aref Karam Espositos, Urban Development director. In addition, the city prevented the collapse of 12 properties.

The city’s restoration program, which began in 1995, has renovated a total of 950 properties. According to the city, there are more than 3,900 historic properties in Centro. City Hall plans to rescue 50 facades in 2016 and continue at roughly the same pace for the foreseeable future.

Paradoxically, part of the continued deterioration in Centro has occurred in a section of 29 buildings that were walled off by the previous administration in an attempt to achieve their restoration.

That plan began two years ago, one block from the Central Railroad Station, at the intersection of Calles 44 and 51. The symbolic site where the first wall was installed is now in worse conditon than at that time; there has been no improvement. This can now be observed because the new municipal government withdrew there and in other houses the wooden fences previously placed around them.

Fenced houses

In the past three years many houses downtown have been fenced off because of their condition; 501 of them appear to represent a risk.


Of these, 29 are classified as an imminent threat; 223 as latent risk and 249 more as risky.