Goodbye to the roller coaster. The dismantling of the iconic game of the "Feria de Chapultepec" has begun One of the emblems of Mexico City is being dismantled to make way for an ambitious project in the heart of the Chapultepec forest.
This article was translated from our Spanish edition.
For years it was one of the most emblematic views of Mexico City. Imposing, in the middle of the Bosque de Chapultepec, it was possible to see from a distance that enormous wooden structure painted white in its last stage that represented the Fair better than any other game.
The Roller Coaster was built 58 years ago and stood until the decision was made to dismantle it. It survived two huge earthquakes (the one in 1985 and the one in 2017), watched nine presidents of Mexico live in Los Pinos, the official residence that is just a few steps away from it (today converted into a Cultural Center by the current president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador) and was the mute witness of our tortuous journeys on an eternally bottled Periférico.
The tragedy that would seal his fate happened on September 28, 2019. Two people lost their lives in an accident when one of the wagons of a game called "Chimera" derailed due to lack of maintenance. The Fair was closed and the concession to the Human Development Operator Chapultepec SA de CV was withdrawn to later carry out a bidding process for a new operator of the amusement park.
The companies Mota Engil México and Thor Urbana were the ones that obtained the concession to operate the park for ten years under the name Parque Urbano Aztlán , an ambitious project that will be ready in 2023. Although spokespersons for the new project commented at the time that they would not dismantle the structure of the Roller Coaster for being an important part of the CDMX landscape, yesterday the works began to remove, at least partially, the structure with huge cranes.
Built by the National Amusement Device Company, the structure of the Roller Coaster was mainly made of wood and at its highest point it reached 33 meters in height. The carts, equipped with all the security measures required at the time, including seat belts similar to those on airplanes, reached up to 110 km/h. It was designed by the Dutchman Aurel Vaszin and at the time was considered the largest in the world.
It was inaugurated by President Adolfo López Mateos and the city manager, Ernesto P. Uruchurtu, on the morning of Saturday , October 25, 1964 .
What is the Aztlán Urban Park?
There, where the Chapultepec Fair once stood with everything and its roller coaster, in a space of 5.68 square hectares, a new park full of walkways and trees has now been set up, which, in addition to having mechanical games, will offer visitors museums (among them the Dolores Olmedo Museum ), an open-air forum for performing arts, another for sporting events and a food area, all always celebrating Mexican culture.The works began last year and $3,638 million pesos will be invested in the project. One of the main attractions will be a Ferris wheel over 100 meters high. Although the museums will be finished during this year, but the rest of the park will be inaugurated until 2023.