Torre Insignia
   (ex Banco Nacional de Obras
   y Servicios Públicos (Banobras))
   Av.Insurgentes N
   Tlatelolco, Mexico City, Mexico
   LL: N 19.45467, W 99.15106
Site locator map
City locator maps and gazetteer page


*Past carillonist:
   Profa. Yolanda Fernandez de Cordova


   Apartado Postal 20-236
   Col.San Ángel, Deleg.Álvaro Obregón
   Mexico, D.F., C.P.01001
   T: (USA) 1-800-475-2393




   5 basses below the playing cabin.
   2007: BANOBRAS, a Mexican Government
   bank, was forced by financial problems
   to vacate the building; since then it
   has remained vacant and deteriorating,
   and is no longer usable.
   Later reports say it was sold in 2007
   to Cushman & Wakefield and was being
   renovated, but it does not appear on
   that company's map of office property
   for lease (Sep.2023).
   Also reported as vacated in 1985
   because of an 8.0 earthquake,
   but it survived that and 5 subsequent
   major quakes.

*Technical data:

   Traditional carillon of 47 bells
   Pitch of heaviest bell is G  in the bass octave
   Transposition is down 5 semitone(s)
   Keyboard range:     G C 42/    C G   
   There are two missing bass semitones
   The presence or absence of a practice console is unknown
   The whole instrument was installed in 1963
     with bells made by Petit & Fritsen
   Auxiliary mechanisms: E     
   Tower details: 
     Height of console:                 90 meters above ground
     Height of lowest level of bells:   94 meters above ground
     Height of highest level of bells:  99 meters above ground
     Belfry openness:  33%
   Year of latest technical information source is 1973

Enlarging this 1984 photo shows that the open top portion of the building contains a playing cabin below the bells, most of which are at the level of the largest openings in the slanted sides of the building.

A news article (19 Sep 2023) about the former Banobras tower shows that it is still standing, having survived six earthquakes even though it has been abandoned for 38 years.  One photo purports to show bells in the carillon, but it is not from this building!  Includes a video (0:24) from drone or helicopter, showing the tower and its surroundings.  The statement that the bells were gift from the Belgian government is almost certainly wrong, as older reports are that it was from the Dutch government.

A Spanish-language article (June 2012) on the architecture of the building has a gallery of 19 photos, one of which shows some of the bells, with external electric action on all but the smallest.  It's not clear whether the manual action survives.  The building height of 127 meters made it the second-tallest in Mexico; it has 24 floors of offices plus an observation deck with carillon.

The Spanish Wikipedia article about the building reports 8 levels of parking and 25 of offices.

A city government page (in English) seems more authoritative, and suggests that it is currently occupied, at least in part.

The bank Website is no longer bilingual, and it has no information about the building which it formerly occupied, and which houses the carillon.

The English Wikipedia article about the tower

The tower has its own Wikimedia Commons category, with many exterior photos from a variety of viewpoints.

The Structurae page about this building has one photo taken from ground level, but almost no information other than that it is "in use" as an office building.

A tourism photo of the tower, with brief description, indicates that it was purchased by Cushman & Wakefield in 2008, and renovated in 2011.

Where this work lies in the sequence of output of the Petit & Fritsen bellfoundry, in this region and in the world.

Ranking among all North American traditional carillons by weight.
Ranking among all North American traditional carillons by size (number of bells).
Ranking among all North American concert class carillons by year of completion.

Other concert carillons with similar keyboard ranges.

The bass bell of this carillon is among all great bells in North America.

Index to all traditional carillons in Mexico/DF.
Index to all tower bell instruments in Mexico/DF.

   This page was built from the database on  9-Oct-23
   based on textual data last updated on 2023/09/23
   and on technical data last updated on 2023/09/23

(none available)

Explanations of page format and keyboard range are available.

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