Olvera Street, Los Angeles

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    Simpson-Jones Building 1894

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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.

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    La Plaza 1820

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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.

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    Plaza Substation 1903

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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.

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    Machine Shop 1915

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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.

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    Placita De Dolores 1979

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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.

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    Plaza Methodist Church 1925

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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.

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    La Iglesia De Nuestra Senora De Los Angeles 1784

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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.

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    The Blessing of the Animals Mural

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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.

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    Reina de Mexico y Emperatriz de America

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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.

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    Father Hidalgo Rang the Bell of Dolores Mural

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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.

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    Father Junipero Serra 1713-1784

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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.

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    Felipe de Neve 1728-1784

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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.

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    Carlos III of Spain 1759-1788

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The plaque reads:King Carlos III of Spain ordered the founding of El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles in 1781. This statue was presented in 1976, in honor of the 200th anniversary of American independence. It was dedicated in the Plaza by the King and Queen of Spain, Don Juan Carlos I and Dona Sofia on September 30, 1987.

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    Los Pobladores Plaque

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The plaque reads:

    Los Pobladores
    The Founders Of The City Of Los Angeles
    El Pueblo De La Reina De Los Angeles Sobre El Rio De La Porciuncula was founded near this site on or about September 4, 1781 as the first Spanish civilian settlement in southern California. Eleven families, including twenty two adults and twenty two children, were recruited from the provinces of Sinaloa and Sonora in New Spain, now called Mexico by Captain Fernando De Rivera Y Moncada, Emissary of the Governor of California Felipe De Neve, their task was to provide food for the soldiers of the presidios and to help secure Spain’s hold on this region, they included farmers, artisans, and stock raisers necessary for the survival of the settlement, escorted by soldiers they departed Los Alamos, Sonora on February 2, 1781 and arrived in several groups during the summer of 1781, the following list of the forty four Pobladores was taken from the official Spanish census of 1781 which recorded their names, race, sex and age.

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    El Pueblo de Los Angeles Plaques #1

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Founders of El Pueblo de Los Angeles
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    The Founders of El Pueblo de Los Angeles: The names of the eleven founders of Los Angeles, originally known as El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles sobre el Rio de la Porciuncula, (the town of the Queen of the Angels on the River Porciuncula), are listed in plaques around the Plaza circle.

    The Original Pueblo of Los Angeles: The Los Angeles pueblo encompassed a square of about five and a half miles on each side with a rectangular plaza measuring 208 ft by 277 ft in the middle. Each of the corners was placed at a cardinal point of the compass. Homes were built around the plaza with space reserved on the east side for a church and municipal buildings. The physical layout of the pueblo and plaza changed several times, mainly due to recurrent flooding of the Los Angeles River. The original settlers began work on the irrigation ditch of Zanja Madre, mud roofed huts, major public buildings, and a church by the end of 1784. Unfortunately, little information exists about the actual location or appearance of the original pueblo and plaza.

    Spanish Expedition into Southern California: In 1542 Captain Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo “discovered” California while sailing along its coastline. Visitador, General Jose de Galvez planned the occupation of Alta California starting with a joint land and sea expedition to San Diego. He selected Lt. Colonel Caspar de Portola, Governor of Baja California and Father Junipero Serra as leaders of the 1769 expedition. During further exploration northward to Monterey, Portola, Father Juan Crespi and Engineer Miguel Costanso first surveyed the Los Angeles region.

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