Downtown building gets its name from 16th century explorer

The Alvarado Transportation Center in Downtown Albuquerque. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

To understand how the Alvarado Transportation Center got its name, one must follow a line of bread crumbs all the way back to the 16th century and the expedition of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado.

The transportation hub, located at First Street and Central Avenue, is named for the grand Alvarado Hotel, which stood there from 1902 until 1970 when it was demolished. There were calls to save the hotel, but they went unanswered. The wrecking ball came instead and reduced the historic building to rubble.

Coronado came to New