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09.04.2009

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Centro Alameda
Zones of Mexico City

 

The area of Centro Alameda corresponds to the west border of the Historical Centre, and exists within the limits of Juarez Avenue, Eje Central, Chapultepec Avenue and Bucareli street.

The development of this area began in the period of the viceroyalty with the establishment of a few religious buildings around the newly-created Alameda Central, but it wasnt until the middle of the 18th century, that the area began to acquire a more urban aspect, what with the construction of Bucareli street, one of the first avenues in Mexico City. Said avenue was frequented, as was the case with the Alameda Central, by the higher classes of Mexican society, which found these areas to be the ideal place for rest and romance. After a slow development during the 19th Century, the area acquired more dynamism throughout the government of Porfirio Díaz, with the activity of the Tobacco Company El Buen Tono and the bullfights that were celebrated in the vicinity of the present Caballito roundabout, as well as the establishment of Mexico Citys China Town on the street of Dolores. By the first decades of the 20th Century the area boiled with vibrant commercial activity promoted during the 1930s and 1940s by the construction of a large number of apartment and office buildings, a lot of which are architectonically valuable, in Art Deco style. A few good examples are the Old Fire Station, which has become the Museum of Popular Art, the Telmex building and the Victoria Building. It was in this area in which the main newspaper and communication media were based, like the XEW, one of the first radio station chains in Latin America, that witnessed the most outstanding interpreters of Latin-American music of the time. In this area, one can find Juárez Avenue, which is located in front of the Alameda Central and which was, in the mid-20th century, epicentre of fashion and good taste in the capital, adorned with showcases and the legendary Del Prado and Regis hotels, which defined a whole era. With time, the luxurious shops were replaced by small businesses and the area suffered a strong process of deterioration which heightened with the 1985 earthquakes, leaving its buildings empty and abandoned and its streets in decay.

Since the year 2000 the area has experienced a regenerative process as a part of the Historical Centre rescue program, which has brought important investments to this area, with the construction of the Sheraton Hotel, the Parque Alameda Mall, the Puerta Alameda and Plaza Juárez apartment buildings and an office block which houses the new seat of the Department of Foreign Affairs. This areas cultural sector comprises the creation of the Museum of Popular Art and the Museum of the Police, as well as the opening of the Memory and Tolerance Museum. These projects have managed, during the last few years, to reactivate the area and to gradually expand its influence farther than Juárez Avenue, taking advantage of interesting spaces like the San Juan Market, the citys gourmet shopping place per excellence, and many others still to discover within this area, and its wonderful location in the heart of Mexico City.

 

 

 

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