Representing the new face of the Alameda zone, the row of chain restaurants, bars, stores and a Hilton hotel facing the park resembles an outdoor shopping plaza. One point of difference is the slick Museo Memoria y Tolerancia, a maze-like museum dedicated to preserving the memory of victims of genocide and human-rights abuses. Weekend evenings are very noisy, with bars and clubs aimed at students. On other nights it can feel a little deserted and rough.

Behind the fully restored Templo de Corpus Christi, which now holds the DF's archives, the plaza's centerpiece is a pair of Tetris-block towers by leading Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta – the 24-story Foreign Relations Secretariat and the 23-story Tribunales building front a set of 1034 reddish pyramids in a broad pool, a collaboration between Legorreta and Spanish artist Vicente Rojo.