The Jardín Dr. Ignacio Chávez is another of the great City Parks that resulted from the tragedy of the 1985 earthquakes. The garden is on the site of the former offices of the Federal Secretary of Commerce and Industrial Development (SECOFI). That giant office shared its block with a giant movie theater, the Cine Internacional. Both buildings suffered such significant damage that they needed to be torn down.
Today the park is known also as the Saturday Bazar de la Roma and the Tianguis de Cuauhtémoc. This is for the Saturday antiques market that has enlivened the sidewalks for decades. The park was named for the heart surgeon Ignacio Chávez Sánchez when it opened in 1987.
The park is at the western edge of the Doctores Neighborhood on Cuauhtémoc Avenue. Although it’s very tranquil during the week, on Saturdays, the antiques market will swell crowds, especially on the side of the avenue.
Ignacio Chávez Sánchez, M.D., F.A.C.P. (1897–1979) was a celebrated cardiologist, educator, a founding member of the Colegio Nacional, and an honorary doctor or rector of 95 universities around the world. Chávez founded the National Institute of Cardiology, the first hospital of its kind in Mexico. He was rector of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 1965 and 1966. Internationally, he's best known for helping to establish cooperative networks in cardiology after World War II. A statue in his honor was erected in front of the National Medical Center in 1980.
The Jardín Dr. Ignacio Chávez also features a small bust of Dr. Teodoro Cesarman. Teodoro Césarman Vitis (1923-1997) was a cardiologist who studied philosophy. He'd long served as a professor at the UNAM School of Medicine and treated more than 27,000 patients over the course of his career. Among these were many Presidents, celebrities and intellectuals. After his death, his surviving brothers published a book of his poetry that he'd kept for more than 50 years. He's also remembered for having financed the original rehabilitation of the the Sala del Cabildo in the Antiguo Palacio del Ayuntamiento.