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Leading Mexican Modernist Architect Dies at 94

Sam Dillon eulogizes architect Pedro Ramirez Vazquez, who helped transition Mexico "from a mostly peasant society into a modern industrial state," as much with his political skills as his technical skills.
April 18, 2013, 2pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, the architect who led many of Mexico’s landmark Modernist construction projects of the mid-20th century, including museums, the country’s largest sports stadium and the shrine that attracts its most important religious pilgrimage, died on Tuesday, his 94th birthday, in Mexico City."

"Over six decades in which much of Mexico evolved from a mostly peasant society into a modern industrial state, Mr. Ramírez and his collaborators built a series of monuments to Mexican culture, including the National Museum of Anthropology, the Azteca soccer stadium, the Legislative Palace and the Basilica of Guadalupe, all in Mexico City," notes Dillon. "Millions of Mexican Roman Catholic pilgrims converge on the basilica each spring."

“'To think of him as somebody who designed buildings is not to take account of all the roles he played,' said [Luis M. Castañeda, a professor of art history at Syracuse University], who interviewed Mr. Ramírez and has studied his archives. 'He wasn’t the one constructing the models or sketching the drawings; he was the one securing the commission from the president.'”

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Published on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 in The New York Times
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