The Mercado Martínez de la Torre is one of the liveliest of markets. It’s one that’s grown so significantly as to have its own annex and it still struggles to keep up with demand from the neighborhood. In this case, it’s the historic Colonia Guerrero.
Along a long stretch of Eje 1 Nte (Mosqueta), the market seems like a precursor. Seemingly endless similar markets spill onto this same avenue further down in La Lagunilla and Tepito before one finally emerges in Venustiano Carranza on the other side of the City Center. But here, we’re still in largely residential Guerrero. And there’s nothing like a market for a neighborhood center.
As shown in the photo above, the Market hosts frequent bouts of Lucha Libre, usually during lunch hours. The same tradition is celebrated in the Metro Guerrero murals, just below the street, Zarco, that runs between the original market and its annex.
So who was Martínez de la Torre? It’s little known today, but the western side of Guerrero, today, the colonia Buenavista, was developed in the 1870s. The main driver of that early experiment in urban sub-division was a lawyer and lawmaker from Puebla. He was also Alderman of the City and bought larger estates, reselling them in much smaller lots.
Rafael Martínez de la Torre was also an outspoken conservative, and a defender of the Sisters of Charity when they were being expelled from the City. More famously still, he argued in vain for the sparing of the life of Maximiliano. The records of his speeches between 1855 and 1870 as an elected legislator still make for fiery reading.
His success as Alderman of the City was perhaps more lasting, especially in the Buenavista neighborhood. The neighborhood is home to the Suburbano train station, capped by the Forum Buenavista shopping center. Next door is, of course, the wildly popular Vasconcelos Library. The Mercado Martínez de la Torre is a fine place to stop en route to any of these places.
As Martínez de la Torre enclosed the neighborhood with more and more housing, eventually a tianguis-style street market was to spring up. The vendors were eventually enclosed, and the market bears the developer’s name, even to this day. It makes a fine place for lunch, or even to just explore.