Returning home late, after a night out by bicycle, this Italianate palace of marble, crystal and Mayan mamposteria was a landmark and helped show my way home. My house was on the same street, Calle 43, two blocks away. For many years it was a ruin and stayed 'under restoration' while Merida's corrupt city fathers allowed the wholesale destruction of many other architectural gems around it to be torn down. In the late 60s it was the norm to tear down and rebuild, of just 'tear down' for a parking lot, just as they did in many American cities such as Philadelphia, Baltimore and Atlanta.
Much of the rebuilding took a turn for the worse. In the 1940s and 1950s they called it Art Deco, then Mexican Modern, then American Imitation -- and then Vacant Lot.
The new and modern museum of the Maya, north of the city, has stolen some of the thunder from this 19th century monument. It was built as a governor's home during the heady days of too much money and almost free Mayan labor. Worth a visit and the 55 peso entrance fee.
This is a view from the front door of the palace, showing the vacant lot across the street, which was made vacant while I lived nearby.