The occupation of Santa Cruz had its starting point with the donation of a farm in allotment to the Jesuits. After the expulsion of the religious order, the Farm of Santa Cruz became the summer residence of the royal and imperial family. The presence of the Court was significant for the region and, because of that, several European travelers such as Debret, Langsdorff and Hidelbrandt visited the area.
After the proclamation of independence in 1822, the farm underwent further improvements and was renamed Santa Cruz Estate. The coronation of the young king took place there and, after his mother’s death, he became known as King João VI. Among other important reforms is the establishment of the Slaughterhouse of Rio de Janeiro in 1881, once the most important in Brazil. In 1936, Hangar do Zeppelin was built at the site and inaugurated in the presence of President Getúlio Vargas. The base was considered one of the most outstanding of the country. In 1858, another important venture that spurred the neighborhood was the extension of the railroad D. Pedro II to Santa Cruz, which contributed to the development of a relevant agricultural area.
The neighborhood has lost its prestige over time, but Santa Cruz is still a point of reference and convergence between the neighborhoods of the western part of the city keeping its historical past protected.