Mexico City’s Torre Insignia may have been abandoned for nearly 40 years, but it remains one of the safest buildings in the world.
That’s because the 25-story skyscraper, which stands a remarkable 417 feet tall, has withstood six earthquakes in the last 38 years.
The Torre Banobras, as it is also called, withstood six major earthquakes between 1985 and 2017 without any damage to its structure.
This includes the earthquake in Mexico City in 1985 with a magnitude of 8.0 on the Richter scale.
But for all its strengths and impressive longevity, the Torre Insignia has remained abandoned since the first disaster 38 years ago.
However, for security reasons, the infrastructure was left standing.
The materials used for construction between 1959 and 1962 were reinforced concrete, glass and aluminum.
With a total floor area of 236,806 square feet and an area of 83,056 square feet, it became the second tallest building in Mexico.
However, the building’s iconic triangular prism shape, impossible to miss when walking through Mexico City, has been redesigned twice since those earthquakes.
But the skyscraper remains far behind the times of the more advanced and modernized buildings around it.
On one side of the tower is the Manuel Gonzalez Metrobus station.
However, inside there are endless floors of empty rooms that once housed the headquarters of the government bank Banobras.
Because it has been used minimally since the first earthquake in 1985, the tower is virtually empty inside.
But it still contains the tallest carillon in the world, with the percussion instrument installed at the highest point of the building.
It was imported as a gift from the Belgian government and has been a mainstay of the building since its inception.
There are also 47 bells from the former Dutch foundry Petit & Fritsen, which weigh 26 tons and are 125 meters long.
Yolanda Fernandez de Cordoba was the main carillon player until the earthquakes.
But even when the building was abandoned, she played the carillon on special occasions.
However, there are reports that Yolanda passed away in 2018.
And since she is believed to have been Mexico’s only living carillon player, it is unclear whether the carillon at the Torre Insignia will ever be played again.
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