Mérida, Yucatán — The historical protection agency has approved vinyl siding as an acceptable facade-covering in the Centro Histórico … as long as homeowners choose from a set of approved tropical pastels, or a tasteful neutral beige.
Considering the steady depletion of our natural resources, environmentalists cheered INAH‘s decision to allow a touch of 1970s Americana into the historic zone. “With vinyl siding, Centro is an even more international type of place,” said one off-the-record environmentalist. “Influences from all over the globe create the melting pot that is the Centro Histórico.”
Speaking of melting, vinyl does tend to liquify slightly in the heat, so the public is warned not to touch or brush up against west-facing walls after 3 p.m. on sunny days. Skin or clothing can scorch after coming in contact with siding that’s in the “bake zone,” as INAH describes it. Bake-zone vinyl may emit a slight odor, which have yet to be proven conclusively to be harmful to people or wildlife, and the approved tropical pastels may leech slightly into the ground. The chemicals released by the vinyl is cure for dengue, “for all we know,” said a source, speaking off the record and demanding anonymity.
Surviving plant life within one meter of bake-zone vinyl tends to produce leaves or even fruit with amusing and serendipitous shapes and colors that will serve as a serviceable “conversation piece,” or an “object lesson for curious children,” scientists agreed in an unsigned press release that arrived in a plain, unmarked envelope.
Pro tip: With a trowel and duct tape, homeowners can re-shape siding that begins to sag after a few days of withering heat.
But vinyl is a natural (albeit unnatural) option for owners who are weary of repainting their traditional facades every other year, said Abril Ful, an INAH spokeswoman who asked to remain anonymous.