As the airport operations at Nielson Field have closed down by the 1950s, around the same time, plans were being made to convert the Zobel de Ayala-owned hacienda (where the airfield is located) into a modern business district, giving birth to the Makati Central Business District. As structures began to sprout left and right, the old airfield which became a triangular open space found itself in the middle of all this development.
However, it took a while for any development to be seen in the area. Apart from the Nielson Tower, the rest of the triangular space was pretty much a barren open space which sometimes was used as a football field. That football field evemtually became known as Ugarte Field, named after Sebastian Ugarte, a legendary figure in Philippine football. (and by the way, his family is related to the Zobel de Ayala, Aboitiz, and a number of Spanish mestizo families in the country)
But it would not be long for the Zobel de Ayala conglomerate to establish their presence in this piece of land, kicking off what would be a long association they would have with this triangular space. Continue reading