Pio Pico was the last governor of Mexican California that sold his land in the San Fernando Valley to be able to build his grand hotel that was Los Angeles' first three story building. The hotel once boasted as the "finest hotel in Southern California," with "bathrooms and water closets for both sexes" on every floor that had 82 bedrooms, 21 parlors, two interior courtyards and a French restaurant. Sadly he lost the hotel by foreclosure in 1880. Served as the National Hotel from 1892-1920. Its been restored and used for cultural events.
It stands as the oldest brick building in Los Angeles that was built by Giuseppi Cavacciand an Italian vintner. It was bought by Antonio Pelanconi in 1871 and was used as a wine cellar. In 1930, Senora Consuelo Castillo de Bonzo in 1930 bought it creating La Golondrina restaurant making it the oldest restaurant on Olvera Street.
Built to house Moline Engines. It continued to be used as the Diamond Shirt Company, Soochow Restaurant and a Mexican style bank 1959. It was subdivided to house the Luz del Dia Restaurant. Now it serves as Café de Camacho.
This was the center of social, political and business life during the Spanish (1781-1821) and Mexican (1821-1847) eras. This location is the third and final location during the 1800's. This still is the center of many social festivities and celebrations. The day we were visiting they were holding some dancing activities. They had a very lovely nativity set in the gazebo.
Built by Henry Huntington, owner of the Los Angeles Railway Company and was the largest of the 14 substations in Los Angeles. The substation task was to convert electricity from AC to DC to convert power for the city's yellow trolley cars. Sadly, the electric street car system ceased operating in 1963.
Originally built as a machine shop with another front that faces Main Street. Its 1910 brick architecture resembles many of Los Angeles commercial buildings. When Olevra Street was saved by Christine Sterling, this building served as Leo Carrillo Theater. Sadly two of the three arched openings facing Main Street have been filled in with stucco walls. Now it houses a wonderful gift shop called Casa California.
The "Bell of Dolores" is a replica that was given by Mexico in 1968 to Los Angeles. It represents Mexico's bid for freedom in 1810 when Father Hidalgo rang the bell which started the Mexican revolution against Spain.
Built on the site of the adobe home once owned by Agustín Olvera, who is the name sake of Olvera street. The church served missionary work among Hispanic and Chinese people along with its sister cities Pasadena and Santa Ana from 1880-1910. Remodeled in the 1960s and was designated a Methodist Historical Site in 1979.
The courtyard was added in 1977 to accomodate visiting classrooms and there is restrooms available too, but just on the otherside you would not know it is two stories. Between the offices are the exhibits of the history of water in Los Angeles and Christine Sterling. The water exhibit starts upstairs and winds down the staircase to the Christine Sterling exhibit.
All are open to the public, usually during the hours of 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Just Across the street from the Olvera street plaza and to the west is also called, "Old Plaza Church" was first established in 1784 as a chapel. This is the oldest Catholic Church in the city, the interior displays are so beautifully ornate with wrought iron and gold leaf. There is a collection of religious paintings on the altar and murals grace the ceilings. Today, Our Lady Queen of Angels still serves as an active church of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
The plaque upfront reads: City of Los Angeles Bicentennial Historical Plaque.
On September 4, 1781, eleven families of pobladores (44 persons including children) arrived at this place from the Gulf of California to establish a pueblo which was to become the city of Los Angeles. This colonization ordered by King Carlos III of Spain was carried out under the direction of Governor Felipe de Neve. Not until 77 years later were the boundaries of the four square leagues of the original pueblo formally established and confirmed to the city by the U.S. land commission. Notes of U. S. deputy surveyor Henry Hancock record the survey. "Commenced September 13, 1858, at the center of the plaza in front of the catholic church...at which point I set a post marked C. L. A. (City of Los Angeles)." This marker at the center of the original pueblo is an exact replica of the posts which once marked the boundaries. The final map by Hancock was used as the design of this plaque.
This plaque formally dedicated in the Los Angeles Bicentennial Year of 1981 by: Mayor, Tom Bradley, City of Los Angeles; Councilman 9th District, Gilbert Lindsay; City Engineer, Donald Tilman.
Painted by Leo Politi in 1978 and is located on the front of the Biscailuz Building that is facing towards the Olvera Plaza. It is dedicated to the ceremony of consecrating animals, an annual tradition which has taken place at El Pueblo since 1938.
This beautiful mural is painted on the north side of Nuestra Senora Reina de Los Angeles - Our Lady Queen of Angeles Catholic Community Church. It has quite the adornment and dedication of the Catholic faith with candles, flowers, crucifixes, pictures, and just plain love. It is quite the sight to see.
The mural is painted on 300 1' ceramic tiles by Eduardo Carrillo
Eduardo Carrillo created a mural in 1977 replicating when the Bell of Dolores was rang by Father Hidalgo on the morning of September 16, 1810, signaling the beginning of Mexico's Wars of Independence from Spain of Mexico's Wars of Independence from Spain. The figures are Dona Josefa Dominguez, Jose Maria Morelos, Captain Ignacio Allende, and Juan de Aldama.
The plaque reads: Born on the Island of Majorca off the coast of Spain, Father Serra was ordained in Palma where he taught for fifteen years before being sent to Mexico as a missionary in 1749. In 1769 he became Padre Presidente of the Franciscan missions in Baja California. That same year he accompanied Gaspar de Portola on a colonizing expedition to San Diego where he founded the first of the nine missions he established in Alta California. Despite an injured leg and constant pain, Father Serra labored mightily in the service of the Church and was a major leader in the conquest of California for Spain.
This statue was erected by the Knights of Columbus in 1932 and was rededicated on the 200th anniversary of Father Serr's death on August 28, 1784.
The plaque reads: Spanish governor of the Californias, 1775-82. In 1781 on the orders of King Carlos III of Spain, Felipe de Neve selected a site near the river Porciuncula and laid out the town of El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles, one of 2 Spanish pueblos he founded in Alta California.