Av. Parque Lira S/N, Bosque de Chapultepec I Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11850 Ciudad de México, CDMX
55 4155 0200
The once official residence of the President of Mexico has in recent years been transformed into a cultural center that promotes artistic and cultural manifestations in Mexican society. The complex was used between 1934 and 2018 as the official residence of the president when then-president Lázaro Cárdenas deemed the Castle of Chapultepec as “too ostentatious” for him and his family to live in, so he moved into this residence, which was named the Rancho Hormiga (“Ant” in Spanish), president Cárdenas considered it to be a name not fitting for a presidential residence so he changed it to Los Pinos. The Rancho Hormiga complex was originally built in 1917 by president Venustiano Carranza for his closest cabinet member, Navy and War Secretary Álvaro Obregón (he would go on to also become the President of Mexico some years later).
14 presidents in total lived in the residence, and with all of its modifications and changes it ended up as a facility with 56,000 square meters of space, about 14 times bigger than the White House in the United States. It’s within the borders of the 1st section of the Parque de Chapultepec and is easily accessed via the Metro Línea 7 “Constituyentes” station.
History repeated itself and some decades later, in 2018, incoming president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador “AMLO” deemed Los Pinos as “too ostentatious” and moved into the Palacio Nacional right in front of the Zócalo, a palace nonetheless. But ever since then Los Pinos has been open to the public (for free) for people to roam the premises and enjoy the beauty of the several residences that make up the complex. The place remains as it was left by the last president that lived there, Enrique Peña Nieto. Not all buildings are open to the public, but the main house, Casa Miguel Alemán can be accessed; the luxurious residence is a spectacle to behold as it has very high ceilings, marble finishes, and huge chandeliers.
Casa Lázaro Cárdenas, which used to function as the office of the president and his staff, is also open to the public and here you can witness a more formal workspace that also hosted several international dignitaries. Other notable buildings include the Molino del Rey (“King’s Mill”) which houses the presidential guards and used to be the site where the old mill once stood, as before being the Rancho Hormiga, there was a corn mill that was used since the time of the Aztecs.
Nowadays there are some cultural expositions in Los Pinos, as there was a temporary one back in October featuring ceramic work from the state of Chihuahua, and there’s the Museo del Estado Mayor which features the history of the personnel in charge of the president’s security, as well as some former presidential automobiles on display; but mainly the location is an attraction in and of itself, where the beautiful gardens and luxurious residences of the complex are a unique visual and historic attraction for visitors.