November 15, 2002

Multi-Million Dollar Restorations Preserve Rich History of Old Mazatlán

MAZATLAN, Mexico - Mazatlán, the second largest coastal city in Mexico, is beginning to enjoy improvements in the historic downtown area of Old Mazatlán. Since the January 2002 Historical Center Project began, several multi-disciplinary groups of citizens and organizations joined forces to renovate historic buildings and promote the area & economy of Old Mazatlán.

The Old Mazatlán historic district is experiencing renovations in the downtown sector enabling Old Mazatlán to preserve its 1800s splendor, rich in culture, architecture and history.

”Mazatlán appreciates the joint effort of citizens and associations dedicated to the restoration project, said Raul Llera, president of the Mazatlán Hotel Association & tourism board. Their hard work and dedication enables Old Mazatlán to prosper everyday.”

Within the City of Mazatlán, the Plaza Machado serves as the important place for the development of performing arts and features some of the best cafés, bars and galleries. At the heart of the renovation in the plaza, is the “Teatro Angela Peralta,” the striking neoclassical opera house built in 1860 Declared a historic monument in 1990, the Peralta Theater is named after Mexico’s famous opera singer, Angela Peralta. The prosperous population in the plaza is attributed to the theater’s restoration. Another primary investment in the restoration project is the 12-floor Hotel Freeman, one of the two oldest hotels of Mazatlán and Sinaloa’s first sky rise. Other restorations include: the nearby “Presidencia” city hall building, the Melville apartments and the historic Pedro & Lola’s restaurant.

”As our renovation efforts proceed, the abundant history and culture of Old Mazatlán will continue to emerge as a top tourism destination,” said Marissa Gastelum Osuna, historic renovation project manager.

Often referred to as the Pearl of the Pacific, Mazatlán, or “land of the Deer,” is located on the Pacific Ocean in the state of Sinaloa and is Mexico’s second largest coastal city with nearly 300,000 inhabitants.

The city is divided into two main areas: Old Mazatlán, the downtown and harbor area with historical attractions, and Zona Dorada or “Golden Zone,” with a seven-mile coastal road between the two. Mazatlán has an international sports-fishing reputation with the largest Pacific Coast port in Mexico featuring the largest fleet of commercial vessels. Sites of interest include: the historic Ángela Peralta Theater, Archeological Museum, Republic Plaza, Ocean Museum, Botanic Garden, San Jose Chapel and the world’s second-tallest lighthouse. Transportation is accessible via the local “pulmonías” or four-person open-air vehicles that have become a symbol of the city.

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