Metro Portales, like the neighborhood it serves, is named for the old Hacienda de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad de los Portales. Said to have been one of the most productive haciendas in the southeast of what is today the city, it was owned by the poet and lawyer, General Manuel Sánchez de Tagle. He was an early supporter of Mexican independence as well as a prominent literary figure before and after the independence movement.
Sold in 1888, the hacienda was subdivided and grew as a commercial and livestock distribution center. A brick kiln, La Ladrillera, most famously took advantage of the name of the area and built a series of sales portals, covered walkways, to show off their premier product and to provide rental space to area merchants. That covered walkway is depicted in the station logo.
Even today, to outsiders, the area is most famous for the Mercado Portales which opened in 1957. The market is known for a number of surrounding tianguis that specialize in used furniture and antique dealers who’ve sold their wares there for more than 70 years. This is very much the “insiders’ antiques market” as many dealers will shop here for items later resold in some of the city’s better known antiques shops and fairs.
Metro Portales is also just a quick walk to the Electric Transport Museum and the Pueblo Originario of San Andres Tetepilco.