The Venustiano Carranza Esplanade is the site of all kinds of events and functions in the east of the City. Especially around the 15th of September and during the Christmas season, the official plaza comes to life. But year-round, there’s something going on. It’s also called the Plaza Civica Constituyentes. That gives you an idea of the plaza’s “civic” character, but there’s a lot that’s fun here too.
The plaza shares its big city block with the giant Centro Cultural Carranza. That’s just to the west. But facing east, the Alcaldía headquarters looks over a broad expanse. It’s usually quite happening. The plaza is home to the Biblioteca Virtual Tlatoani. It’s in the airplane that might be the most prominent thing on the esplanade. The library offer lots of public lectures and readings, but most people want a tour of the plane. They have those too. The plane houses the search consoles for the library system.
To the south on the promenade is the big Venustiano Carranza monument. This was for many years the pride of the Alcaldía, and the figure for whom this young part of the City is named. José Venustiano Carranza de la Garza (1859–1920) takes historical credit for having consolidated the country around the Constitution of 1917. That’s the one in effect today. His forces eventually were able to suppress open conflict and to bring a close to the long Mexican Revolution. Much of the 20th century was peacefully able to resolve what conflicts remained.
This part of the city was divided from the Historic Center only in 1970. The main Alcaldía building opened in 1974. The land used, including all of the Venustiano Carranza Esplanade, had been the Balbuena military airfield. This was for the first half of the 20th century. The building is best known, on the inside, for four big murals by Daniel Ponce Montuy. These were completed for the building’s opening. The Balbuena airfield lends it’s name to the surrounding neighborhood of Jardín Balbuena. Like the Metro Station, all of these places were named, indirectly, for the Spanish poet Bernardo de Balbuena (c. 1561–1627). The closest Metro to the plaza, though, is Metro Fray Servando. It’s roughly a ten-minute walk across the Parque de los Periodistas to the west.