Abasto is directly associated with the old market (today shopping), tango and Carlos Gardel, and the neighbourhood's revival that is visible now more than ever. The Abasto area holds a great part of Buenos Aires' history.
Abasto has always been linked to the old "Mercado Central de frutas y verduras" (Central Market of fruits and vegetables). The Market was inaugurated in 1893, causing the growth of a new area in it's circumference, mainly populated by immigrants. The result was one with many "conventillos" (large houses with one family/group of people living in each room and shaing bathrooms, kitchen, etc.), canteens, and theatres, graced by the precence of the great celebrity "El Morocho del Abasto": Carlos Gardel. In 1984, almost a century later, the fruit and vegetable market was moved to another part of Buenos Aires, leaving a large part of the area's population unemployed. This caused the beginning of a phenomenon known as the "casas tomadas," or "taken houses," where the people illegally occupied abandoned properties, not only houses, but also abandoned apartments, or storage areas. The building that had once been the Central Market was kept closed until 1998, when it was re-opened as a large shopping mall.
During the fourteen years that the old market bulding was out of use, 1984 to 1998, the contrast between the social classes in the Abasto area was accentuated, leaving middle class apartment buildings and duplex houses neighboring with the old and deteriorated "conventillos" of the lower class.
Abasto has a reputation of being a dangerous area. In the beginning of the 90s, it was refered to in local media as the "Bronx porteño" (Bronx of Buenos Aires).
In the end of 1998, the former "Mercado Central de Frutas y Verduras", was re-opened as a shopping mall, know as the Abasto de Buenos Aires. The entire exterior of the building was kept intact to maintain its historical value. The interior, on the other hand, was completely gutted out and reconstructed using the latest technology available at the time, also incorporating surrounding areas. Huge apartment building were constructed, a hotel of international standad, a supermarket, and a restaurant dedicated to Tango. The pedestrian street Carlos Gardel was also inaugurated with a monument to the famous singer. These were some of the first measures taken in turning Abasto into one of Buenos Aires' turist attractions, a dedication to Tango.
The legendary Abasto area, cradle of tango and a witness of the history of Buenos Aires, is one of the most popular sites chosen by turist to breath and feel tango in the place of its birth, visiting the street named after the legendar singer, Carlos Gardel, and the corner on which "El Morocho del Abasto" sang his first "milongas."
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- Abasto limits with the following areas of Buenos Aires: Almagro, Barrio Norte, Boedo, Constitución, Monserrat, and San Cristobal.