The Museo Nacional de la Estampa occupies the building that is next to the parish of Santa Veracruz, in the plaza of the same name, one of the oldest in Mexico City
In 1526, Hernán Cortés built a hermitage for the Archicofradía de la Cruz, constituted by himself in 1519, after arriving in Veracruz. Towards the end of the 1520s, the Archconfraternity and the Cabildo of Mexico City negotiated the expansion of the hermitage and the construction of the buildings that would accompany it. According to Manuel Rivera and Cambas, the Cabildo granted the Archicofradía "two plots between the limit of the trace by the West, in the street of Sta. Isabel, and the first houses with vegetable garden in the Tacuba road", with the that there be "a street between the hospital and the houses of the Indians and that the buildings be erected without prejudice to the Indians." A year later, the Cabildo agreed to recover these lots to build buildings with a house-wall "in front and in the back, so that it could be moved from here to the mainland, forming a sidewalk of houses on both sides of the road ", So he replaced one of the lots that adjoined the road with one located behind the hermitage, facing north.
In the middle of the sixteenth century, the Spanish population grew rapidly and the parish of the Tabernacle was unable to administer the sacraments. Due to the lack of resources to create new parishes, the archbishop and the viceroy requested that the confreres of Veracruz and Santa Catarina be martyred so that parishes could be founded in their respective churches. Thus, in 1568, the parish of Santa Veracruz was created. By the mid-eighteenth century, it had an extensive jurisdiction that encompassed the Spanish population that lived in the towns of "San Antonio de las Huertas, San Agustín de las Cuevas, Chapultepec, Nonoalco, Molinos del Rey and La Pólvora (Santa Fe) to more of the neighborhoods of Mexico City ".
In 1813 there was a quarrel between the architect and sculptor Manuel Tolsá and the priest of the parish of Santa Veracruz for the property of the cemetery of Calvary -probably created after the smallpox epidemic of 1779-, cemetery located next to the parish and front to the hospital of San Juan de Dios, that is, where the National Museum of the Estampa is currently located. The conflict was resolved in favor of Tolsá, who argued that the cemetery, although previously belonging to the parish, was secularized. The architect offered to support the transfer of "the bones" of the cemetery, where he would be buried three years later. The Cabildo ordered the destruction of this cemetery in 1833, an order that must have been fulfilled between 1833 and 1842.
During the following two decades, several people requested the awarding of the square of the Santa Veracruz -which from those years began to be called, in the minutes, indistinctly as a square of San Juan de Dios-. During these dates, different types of neighborhood conflicts were registered: adjudication attempts with a view to converting the square into a market, abuses in water grants and the appropriation of more lots than allowed by one of the inhabitants.
In 1861, the writer, politician and man of arms Florencio María del Castillo Velasco acquired "a vacant lot" in the square, for the cost of 2480 pesos. Florencio María del Castillo Velasco was born on November 27, 1828, the son of a magistrate from Costa Rica. After failing in medical studies, he devoted himself to journalism and literature, and began to work for The Republican Monitor, a publication he directed between the 1840s and 1850s. In 1857 he participated in the Cabildo of Mexico City as internal commissioner of the Branch of Public Instruction and as responsible for the Municipal Memory. In 1861, after the War of Reform, Del Castillo Velasco was elected president of the Cabildo de México and deputy owner of the second Constitutional Congress.
During the French Intervention, in 1862, Florencio resolved to confront the invading troops with his brother José María. Given the lack of resources, Florencio returned to the city to "sell a house, his only wealth, which he had begun to build". It is highly probable that this house, built on the grounds of the Plaza de la Santa Veracruz, was the predecessor of the building that currently houses the National Museum of the Estampa. On August 3, 1863, the journalist was arrested, taken to the jail of Santiago Tlatelolco and, after a military trial, transferred to the Castle of San Juan de Ulúa, in Veracruz. He died in October of the same year. In the following years, the Cabildo registered several requests of José María, his brother, related to the Plaza de la Santa Veracruz.
At the beginning of 1869, the statue of Morelos located in the square Guardiola was moved to that of Santa Veracruz. From that moment, that space was also referred to in the minutes as Morelos square. The effigy had been sent to do by the governor of the State of Mexico, Mariano Riva Palacio, from June 1857. According to his original project, the sculpture was to be installed in San Cristóbal Ecatepec, place of execution of the independence fighter.
In March of 1884, the Cabildo of the City of Mexico requested the payment of 2486 pesos for which a plot was awarded to Florencio del Castillo. A couple of weeks later, Carlos del Castillo requested a short extension to pay "for the houses built in the Plaza de Morelos." On July 18, 1884, the payment of the debt was recorded "for the land on which houses No. 2 and 3 of the Morelos square are built." These and other acts of the Cabildo of 1887 confirm that the children of Florencio M. del Castillo, one of whom, with certainty, was Carlos, remained owners of the land acquired by his father, land occupied by at least two houses.
Most of the articles -specialized or not- and written reviews about the National Museum of the Estampa indicate that the house that currently houses the MUNAE is "of Porfirian style" and that, as such, it was built "in the last decades of the XIX century". If we take into consideration the foregoing, as well as the absence of mentions to said house or land in the remaining Cabildo minutes -which extend until 1928-, it could be inferred that the real estate project of the Castillo Velasco family, initiated by Florencio before of the French Intervention and continued by his son Carlos in subsequent decades, corresponds to the current headquarters of the museum.
In 1967, the then Regent of the capital, Alfonso Corona del Rosal, designed the remodeling of the Plaza de la Santa Veracruz and the old Jardín Morelos. After the interventions, the buildings adjacent to the temple of Santa Veracruz continued in the hands of private individuals and they were assigned different uses, both commercial and residential. In 1983, the Secretariat of Human Settlements and Public Works of the Federal Government, acquired the building indicated with number 39 of Hidalgo Avenue to install there the representation of the Government of the State of Colima, for which the restoration of the building was requested to Architect Javier Villa Lobos. However, the installation of that state office was not carried out and, finally, from the Decree signed by the President of the Republic, Lic. Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado, and published in the Official Gazette of the Federation on November 17. December 1986, the building was used to serve the Ministry of Public Education for use by the National Institute of Fine Arts, in order to establish the Museo Nacional de la Estampa.