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 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.
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.
This wonderful building was one of seven buildings associated with the Italian community from 1855-1930s. It was used for many political and social functions. Up towards the roofline is a mural painted by David Alfaro Siquieros "América Tropical" on the south exterior wall in 1932. It was considered controversial and ordered whitewashed. Its being restored.
Built by Philippe Garnier from France. It was the oldest and most important building of the original Chinatown that housed important Chinese businesses and associations. Part of the building was lost due to the freeway in the 1950's that now houses the Chinese American Museum.
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.
Antonio Pelanconi who owned the Pelanconi House, now the La Golondrina Restaurant on Olvera Street. He had the old winery built, but he died in 1879. His widow carried on in his footsteps in business. The building was subdivided and in 1930 the El Paseo Inn moved into the southern end. Now there are administrative offices and an art gallery.
This lovely Victorian buildilng serves as a museum and visitors center. Senora Eloisa Martinez de Sepulveda lived in this beautiful Eastlake Victorian design that cost of $8,000 to build. It had at one time, 22 rooms, 2 commercial businesses and 3 residences. You can enter into the building from Olvera Street or from Main Street. Some of the rooms are on display and they even have a wonderful little theatre that shows a 18-minute film on the history of El Pueblo de Los Angeles.
Damien Marchessault: This street is named for Damien Marchessault, a French Canadian, who served twice as mayor of Los Angeles - from 1859-1860 and again from 1861-1865.During his term in office, the Plaza Church was rebuilt and the City Gas Company was organized. Marchessault and a partner, Jean Louis Sainsevain, worked together to provide water for Los Angeles through a system of hollow log pipes. As mayor, Marchessault supported a proposal to split California into two states, but this was not approved by the voters. In 1868, unhappy over public criticism of the water system and the constant problems with the pipes, and also because of despondency over gambling debts, Marchessault committed suicide in the city council chamber.
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.
Camero: Manuel Camero came from Acaponeta, Nayarit, and Maria Tomasa Garcia came from Rosario, Sinaloa. The Cameros were childless, but later adopted two Indian orphans from Los Angeles. Manuel Camero died in 1819, while Tomasa Garcia survived until 1844.
Lara: Jose Fernando de Velasco Lara came from Cadiz, Spain, and his wife, Maria Antonia Campos came from Cosala, Sinaloa. As one of the three families who requested to be released from the pueblo of Los Angeles, Lara became mayordomo (foreman) for San Antonio Mission. When it was discovered his first wife was still alive, Lara was sent back to central Mexico. Maria Antonia Campos later married a soldier, Luis Lugo. Several children surnamed Lara later lived in Santa Barbara.
Mesa: Antonion Mesa and his wife, Maria Ana Gertrudis Lopez came from Alamos, Sonora. Dissatisfied with farming life in Los Angeles, the Mesa family requested a return to their home in Alamos where Antonio Mesa worked in the silver mines.
Moreno: Jose Moreno an dhis wife, Maria Guadalupe Perez came from Rosario, Sinaloa. Jose and Maria were married on September 18, 1780, just before they began their long journey to found Los Angeles. The Moreno family was successful in farming in Los Angeles and lived in the pueblo for many years. Jose Moreno died in 1809. Guadalupe Perez died in 1860, at the age of about 100, the last of the original adult pobladores to die.
Navarro: Jose Antonio Navarro and his wife, Maria Regina Dorotea Soto, came from Rosario, Sinaloa. Although Navarro was transferred to Monterey for bad conduct, some of his children remained in the pueblo.
Quintero: Luis Quintero came from Guadalajara, Jalisco, and his wife, Maria Petra Rubio came from Alamos, Sonora. The Quintero family moved to Santa Barbara, where their daughters lived and were married to soldiers of the presidio. Luis Quintero was the tailor for Santa Barbara for many years
Rodriguez: Pablo Rodriquez came from Real de Santa Rosa, Jalisco, and his wife, Maria Rosalia Noriega came from Rosario, Sinaloa. The family moved to San Luis Rey and San Diego in 1796 as Pablo Rodriguez became the mayordomo (foreman) of these missions.
Rosas: Alejandro Rosas, son of Basilio Rosas and Manuela Hernandez, married Juana Maria Rodriguez at San Blas, Sinaloa while on route to Los Angeles. Juana Maria Rodriguez died in 1788, and Alejandro Rosas followed her a month later, in 1789. The grandparents, Basilio and Manuela Rosas cared for their two children.
Rosas: Basilio Rosas came from Nombre de Dios, Durango, and his wife, Maria Manuela Hernandez came from Rosario, Sinaloa. At age 62, Rosas was the eldest of the pobladores. The Rosas family brought seven children with them. Two sons, Carlos and Maximo, married Indian women from nearby Gabrielino villages.
Vanegas: Jose Vanegas came from Real de Bolanos, Jalisco, and his wife, Maria Bonifacia Aguilar came from Rosario, Sinaloa. In 1788 Jose Vanegas became the first alcalde (mayor) of Los Angeles and served until 1789. He served a second term in 1796. As alcalde, he served a both mayor and judge. He later became mayordomo (foreman) of Mission San Luis Rey. Their son, Cosme, owned Carpinteria Rancho in 1833.
Villavicencio: Antonio Feliz Clemente Villavicencio was from the city of Chihuahua, and his wife, Marí de los Santos Flores was from Batopilas, Chihuahua. the family moved to Santa Barbara in 1797, where their adopted daughter, Josefa Peñuelas, had married a soldier. Antonio Feliz Clemente Villavicencio died in Santa Barbara in 1802.
Yangna: The village of Yangna is most closely associated with the founding of Los Angeles. Yangna was the Garielino Indian Village which was described by Father Juan Crespi in 1769 while traveling through Southern California with the expedition led by Caspar de Portola, Crespi reported that the village of Yangna (also known as Yabit) was located where the pueblo of Los Angeles would be established. The exact location of Yangna is uncertain but is believed to be close to present day City Hall, near Spring Street. Yangno functioned as a source of labor for the pueblo and numerous intermarriages took place between Gabrielinos and pueblo residents. The village was abandoned sometime after 1836.
Built on the old site of the old Los Angeles Gas Company. It was the Braun Drug Company showroom and Brunswig Drug Company. Acquired by Los Angeles County in 1946, along with the Vickrey/Brunswig building next door. Used in the 50's as Los Angeles County employees and a Sheriff's crime laboratory. After the 1971 earthquake the facades were removed and it went into decay. The buildings are being retored to their former glory and will be part of the soon-to-open Plaza de Cultura y Artes.