Ancient origins of the Mexican plaza [electronic resource] : from primordial sea to public space / Logan Wagner, Hal Box, Susan Kline Morehead.

Wagner, Logan.
Austin : University of Texas Press, 2013.
1 online resource (273 p.)
1st ed.
Roger Fullington Series in Architecture
Roger Fullington series in architecture

Location Notes Your Loan Policy


Public spaces -- Mexico -- History.
Architecture and society -- Mexico -- History.
Plazas -- Mexico -- History.
Electronic books.
"Spanning several thousand years of history, this book explores how sacred open space in Mesoamerican communities evolved into the familiar plaza at the heart of most Mexican towns and cities. Reveals that while the Spanish sought to eradicate Mesoamerican culture by building over their cities, they actually preserved the form and usage of the Mesoamerican plaza because Spanish cities were also laid out with a central open space. The authors show how, even today, the Mexican plaza has elements that can be traced back to ancient Mesoamerican culture and, as the site of the church or cathedral, remains a sacred, as well as secular, space"-- Provided by publisher.
"The plaza has been a defining feature of Mexican urban architecture and culture for at least 4,000 years. Ancient Mesoamericans conducted most of their communal life in outdoor public spaces, and today the plaza is still the public living room in every Mexican neighborhood, town, and city--the place where friends meet, news is shared, and personal and communal rituals and celebrations happen. The site of a community's most important architecture--church, government buildings, and marketplace--the plaza is both sacred and secular space and thus the very heart of the community.. This extensively illustrated book traces the evolution of the Mexican plaza from Mesoamerican sacred space to modern public gathering place. The authors led teams of volunteers who measured and documented nearly one hundred traditional Mexican town centers. The resulting plans reveal the layers of Mesoamerican and European history that underlie the contemporary plaza. The authors describe how Mesoamericans designed their ceremonial centers as embodiments of creation myths--the plaza as the primordial sea from which the earth emerged. They discuss how Europeans, even though they sought to eradicate native culture, actually preserved it as they overlaid the Mesoamerican sacred plaza with the Renaissance urban concept of an orthogonal grid with a central open space. The authors also show how the plaza's historic, architectural, social, and economic qualities can contribute to mainstream urban design and architecture today."-- Provided by publisher.
Machine generated contents note: Authors' Note
Chapter One. The Primordial Sea: Forming Open Space in Mesoamerica
Mesoamerican Concept of Space
Mountains and Altepetls
Caves, Quatrefoils, and Sunken Courts
Types of Open Space in Mesoamerica
Triad Centering * U-shaped Courts * Quadrangles
Quincunx: Symbol of the Cosmos
The Sunken Court of Teopantecuanitlan
The Dallas Plaque: A Cosmogram
Chapter Two. Forming Spanish Towns in Mesoamerican Culture
People and Ideas
The Invasion
The Europeans Making Contact
European Plazas in the Early Sixteenth Century
Origins of the Plaza
Building New World Towns
Types of Towns * First Acts and Encounters
Laws of the Indies
Quincunx Patios
Relaciones Geograficas
Chapter Three. Sixteenth-Century Communal Open Spaces (Five Hundred Years Later)
Caves and Crevices
Amecameca, State of Mexico * Zoquizoquipan, Hidalgo * Valladolid, Yucatan
Quincunxial Arrangements
Atlatlahuacan, Morelos * Huejotzingo, Puebla * Huaquechula, Puebla * Zacualpan de Amilpas, Morelos
Terraced Mountains
Molango, Hidalgo * Achiutla, Oaxaca * Yanhuitlan, Oaxaca
Sunken Courts
Tepoztlan, Morelos * Tochimilco, Puebla * Calpan, Puebla
Ballcourts and Bullrings
Villa Díaz Ordaz, Oaxaca * Tlanalapa, Hidalgo * Tepeapulco, Hidalgo
Open Space Ensembles
Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca * Tlacolula, Oaxaca * Otumba de Gomez Farías, State of Mexico * Tlacochahuaya, Oaxaca * Tepeaca, Puebla * Etla, Oaxaca
Bishop Quiroga's Utopias in Michoacan
Tzintzuntzan, Michoacan * Patzcuaro, Michoacan * Santa Fe de la Laguna, Michoacan * Erongarícuaro, Michoacan * Angahuan, Michoacan
Visible Overlays and Deliberate Alignments
Mitla, Oaxaca * Hacienda Xaaga, Oaxaca * Teposcolula, Oaxaca * Coixtlahuaca, Oaxaca * Epazoyucan, Hidalgo
The Yucatan Experience
Yotholín, Yucatan * Tibolon, Yucatan * Izamal, Yucatan
Chapter Four. Origins and Evolution
Epilogue: Plazas in the Twenty-first Century
The San Miguel Example
Qualities of Successful Plazas
Sprawl and the American Myth
Appendix. Measured Drawings: Plans of Towns
Description based upon print version of record.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 233-243) and index.
Morehead, Susan Kline.
Box, Hal.