Monday, May 25, 2015


FRANCISCO J. SERRANO (1900-1982) was a civil engineer and architect whose Art Deco and modernist buildings grace Colonia Condesa and other areas of Mexico City. He is part of an architectural dynasty.

His father, J. Francisco Serrano, designed several notable buildings in the city, such as the Edificio La Esmeralda (1892) and the Edificio Paris (1907) in the Centro Histórico.

His son, Francisco Serrano, ( is best known for his design of Terminal 2 of the Mexico City airport and the office buidling known as 'Los Pantelones'.

                                                  Edificio Jardines, Amsterdam 285, at Sonora

The second Serrano, Francisco J., is probably best known as the architect of the swanky Edificio Basurto in Condesa, but as you wander around the colonia, you'll notice that many of the best Art Deco buildings are his. An early work, the fanciful Edifico Jardines at the corner of Sonora and Amsterdam (across from Starbucks) features multiple balconies, terraces and mini-lighthouses on top. The streamline house at the corner of Michoacán and Avenida Mexico looks like a set for a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie.

Several of his houses have been altered or covered over with commercial signage, or have disappeared behind giant trees. But he undoubtably left the mark of his creative vision on Mexico City. Surprisingly, there is no monograph about him.


                                           Avenida Amsterdam, corner of Michoacán

Huichapan 20

Amsterdam 285

                                                                Pasaje Polanco

Here is a list of buildings I've been able to attribue to him:

Laredo 5, 1933
Amsterdam 110, 1931
Laredo 22 (externsively remodelled), 1942
El Plaza Condesa (Parque España),1946
Edificio Casa Jardines, Amsterdam 285, 1928-30
Edificio Basurto, 1942-45
Nuevo León 68, 1952
Michoacán 43, 1935
Avenida Mexico 75, 1934
Nuevo León 120, 1936
Campeche 302, 1932
Amsterdam 206, 1935
Avenida Mexico 123, 1932
Chilpancingo 39, 1946
Chilpancingo 46, 1931
Parque España 49
Parque España 59
Huichapan 20

Edificio Rio de Janiero, Orizaba and Durango, Roma (ground floor remodel)
Edificio Anahuac, Queretaro 109, Colonia Roma (1932)
Edificio Acro, Insurgentes at Quintana Roo, 1937
Edificio Glorieta, Insurgentes at Chilpancingo, 1938

Pasaje Polanco, c. 1938
Emilio Castelar 6
Emilio Castelar 24
E.C. and Galileo, corner house
Arquimedes and Newton, corner house
Newton and Aristoteles
Conjunto San Carlos, Moliere, Seneca and Masaryk

Cine Teresa

Faculty of Engineering, UNAM (collaboration), c. 1954
Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Church, Santa María de la Ribera


Don Cuevas said...

Excellent! I'm fascinated by these beautiful buildings.

Don Cuevas

Jesus Chairez said...

Great information here.

Cardie said...

thanks for this introduction! Love his work, it is so inspired by nature.

Doug said...

A great piece. I've enjoyed looking at many of these buildings.

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