In 1888, Chapala had become the preferred resort for most "Tapatios". People native to Guadalajara flocked to the beautiful shores of Lake Chapala and enjoyed staying in a variety of hotels that were built to accomodate those who came to relax, dine and golf. The mild temperatures, the beauty of the circling hills and the passenger boats all added to the charm of many affluent Mexican families. In the 1800's the winding roads
El Manglar - The Mangrove
to reach Chapala from Guad made the trip very hard. Porfirio Diaz had made that trip many times before becoming the President of Mexico and he stayed at his
brother-in-laws casa named "El Manglar" This Mangrove is where President Diaz and his entourage enjoyed the many fruits of Chapala. Many proposals to connect Chapala by rail to Guadalajara were made. The Train Station's
original Grand Opening was to be May 15, 1888, however, the reality of the terrible unrest of the Mexican Revolution interveneed and more than 25 years passed before the station was built. The Chapala Train Station finally opened to
The Architect and Engineer
the public on April 8, 1920. From 1904-1909, Chapala was the chosen spring time vacation destination for Mexico President Porfirio Diaz and his family and friends. The architect and engineer Guillermo de Alba designed the building based on his studies as a student in Chicago. De Alba reflected the town's hope for a brighter future with elegant pillars and grand rooms for hosting cultural events. On the ground floor, two rooms are dedicated to
temporary exhibits. The 16.2 miles of rail to connect Chapala with Guad were installed in 1917. The Museum today holds many artifacts from around lakeside. The water level of Lake Chapala rose dramatically and flooded the station in 1925. The lakeside property passes through many hands until Jesus Gonzalez Gallo acquired it.
Once the flood waters receded, the Gonzalez Gortazar family agreed to lend the property to the expats in Chapala to use as a clubhouse much like the Lake Chapala Society property in Ajijic. Eventually the building was abandoned and was left to decay for years. For the purpose of creating a cultural
Ave Christiana in 1930 - Chapala
center, Mrs Paz de Gonzalez Gallo chose to donate the property to the State Government of Jalisco. In 1997 the restoration work began with the collaboration of the Cultural Heritage area of the Secretary of Culture, the Chapala City Council and the organization "Adopt a Work of Art". The old Train Station was re-baptized as the Gonzalez Gallo Cultural center and was officially opened on March 28, 2006. It is open to the public every day except Mondays. Hours of operation is Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM and Sundays from 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM. For more information contact: The Gonzalez Gallo Cultural Center at 376-765-7424. The admission is FREE.