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The Plaza San Carlos is today known as the Parque Tabacalera. A tiny city square, it’s the former garden of the Buenavista Palace which, in the 20th century, briefly hosted the cigar company for which the neighborhood is still named.
In 1898, the palace became the administrative headquarters of La Tabacalera Mexicana Basagoiti Zaldo y Cía. As was normal at the time, the company intended to keep housing for workers and administrative employees in the immediate area of the factory. This had already successfully achieved in what was known as then Colonia del Buen Tono, another tobacco company. Today that colonia is part of the Centro Histórico around the Buen Tono church. The housing is a bit further south on the Avenida Bucarelli.
The Tabacalera project did not really materialize, although the Tabacalera name remains to this day. A tobacco store and something of a cigar factory remained in the Buenavista Palace until 1932. But today, the Plaza de San Carlos is a free and always-open part of the palace, and a terrific neighbrohood park. For one of Mexico City’s great walking neighborhoods, it’s also a very good place to stop and catch up.
Very near to Metro Revolución, the plaza is just a quick walk north of the Monument to the Revolution. The neighborhood streets of Tabacalera, wide and tree-lined as they are, offer an especially grand view of the Mexico City 20th century.