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The Plaza de la Solidaridad operates as an addition, just southwest of Alameda Central. In fact, its history is much more recent, and more tragic as well. The square is the site of the Hotel Regis collapse.
The plaza was once part of the San Diego Monastery, today the Alameda Art Laboratory. Much of this land was later subdivided and used for the offices of the newspaper El Imparcial. This, gave way some decades later, to the Regis Hotel. At the beginning of 1908, it was expanded and modernized several times in the course of its history.
In the 1950’s, it was an iconic 8 floors building, along with the 7 floor building of the Salinas & Rocha department store that had operated since 1946. It also competed with the Prado Mision Hotel in the same area. The three prominent businesses operated until September 19, 1985 when all structures collapsed as a result of the earthquake. The entire block saw explosions, fire and their reduction to rubble. Memorables images of the “Hotel ЯHR Regis” poster, which historically stood o the roof of the hotel after falling to the street level, immediately conveyed the scale of construction that shook the nation.
The rests of 136 deceased were removed from the buildings, but dozens are believed to have been lost in the disaster. The ruined site was later expropriated by the City, shortly after the earthquake. It became practically a symbol and reminder of the fateful day and the lives lost. The Solidarity Square was ready only a year later. In 1991, a monument dedicated to the spirit of solidarity of the residents and rescuers of México City was placed and it’s still located in the center of the plaza.
At the north of the park, on the west side, is the Diego Rivera Mural Museum. This is now the place of the mural finished in 1947 for the Hotel del Prado. Facing the museum, the park hosts chess enthusiasts from all over the city. On a regular day you’ll see dozens of carefully deliberate matches.
As the sun goes down, most nights we will see contingents of competing sonideros, real DJ’s. The chosen music is more commonly guaracha and cumbia. Stop by to witness some of thi. There are ver few (none) restrictions on who can participate, as long as they can dance. It leaves most viewers with a very reassuring image os the nature of solidarity in Mexico City.