18th Street Pink Line Station

1710 W. 18th Street, Chicago, IL 60608

The 18th Street Pink Line Station serve’s Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. In the 1990s, Chicago artist Francisco Mendoza (1958-2012) worked with students and the National Museum of Mexican Art to decorate the station’s walls and stairwells with murals celebrating Mexican identity and culture. The station’s most direct connection to Tenochtitlan is the mural on the eastern platform depicting the Aztec Sun Stone and Coyolxāuhqui Stone. 

The Aztec Sun Stone is a monolithic sculpture measuring nearly 11.8 feet in diameter. It was created during the reign of Moctezuma II (1503 to 1520), and depicted the Aztec’s ideology and understanding of the cosmos. Following the Fall of Tenochtitlan, the stone was placed at the base of Tenochtitlan’s Templo Mayor (main temple). It was ordered buried by Spanish colonial authorities in the mid-1500s and rediscovered in 1790 during excavation for a Mexico City public works project. The stone is on display at Mexico City’s National Anthropology Museum and is one of the most potent and popular symbols of Mexican identity. A full-size replica of the stone can be found at the Field Museum.

The Coyolxāuhqui Stone measures 10.5 feet in diameter. Likely created during the rule of Aztec emperor Axayacatl (1469-1481), the stone depicts a dismembered Coyolxāuhqui, who had just been defeated by Huitzilophochtli, the sun god, for leading an attack against his mother while he was in utero. This depiction of the defeated Coyolxāuhqui was placed at the base of the Templo Mayor, before the section of the temple dedicated to Huitzilophochtli. Huitzilophochtli was Tenochtitlan’s patron, and the Coyolxāuhqui Stone served as a warning to those who would cross the Aztec (Mexica). The stone was uncovered by accident in 1978 by Mexico City electric-power company workers. The stone’s excavation would lead to the eventual excavation of the Templo Mayor site and the construction of the Templo Mayor Museum. 

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