The Gustavo A. Madero Esplanade is the civic center of the Gustavo A. Madero alcaldía. It’s a giant plaza complex just east of the Basílica de Guadalupe. The plaza faces the Mercado Villa Zona 34 to its immediate west. All of these account for the Colonia Villa de Gustavo A. Madero. This helps to explain the long history of the two institutions, one eventually evolving from the other.
The esplanade is frequent host to events of all kinds and its especially visible from the eastern Plaza within the Basilica. Events take place in the civic auditorium on the northwest corner of the plaza. But they also often take up some large part of the area. Fairs, concerts, speaking events, and dances of all kinds unfold nearly year round.
A 2013 renovation gave the plaza it’s current look. It also brought back the monument to Gustavo A. Madero himself. The brother of Revolutionary president, Francisco A. Madero, for whom the famous street is named, Gustavo’s murder marked one of the darkest points of the Mexican Revolution.
The overall alcaldía of La GAM was founded as the City of Villa de Guadalupe in 1563. It remained an important pilgrimage site throughout the colonial period, as Tepeyac had been during the ancient period. The name of the Independence Movement hero was later added to the name of what was then an independent city, Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo. It remained so until the Villa became part of Mexico City in 1931.
Today, it’s still the second most populous part of Mexico City after only Iztapalapa. The Gustavo A. Madero Esplanade is roughly in the crook of the alcaldía’s L-shape. It shares it’s big central area with both Lindavista and the Indios Verdes area. To the north is Cuautepec and the mountains of the Sierra de Guadalupe. To the west are the forest and zoo at the center of the Aragón area.