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.
This was the first fire house in Los Angeles that was equipped with fire-fighting equipment and housing for personnel. It is Engine Company No. 1 and was home for the first volunteer firefighters of Los Angeles. It housed the first 38 volunteers, a horse cart and 3 horses for two years. Sadly the firehouse moved out in 1892 due to a legal problems. It served as a saloon, boarding house, drugstore and vegetable market over the years. In 1953 like many of the wonderful buildings here became part of El Pueblo Historical Monument. It since has been restored and opened as a museum in 1960. It contains beautiful fire fighting equipment, historic photographs and maps.
Also located here is an California Historical Marker No#730 Old Plaza Firehouse, the plaque reads: "Dedicated to the firemen of the Los Angeles Fire Department-past, present, and future-who, by their courage and faithful devotion to duty, have protected the lives and property of the citizens of Los Angeles from the ravages of fire since 1871. This was the first building constructed as a fire station in Los Angeles. Built in 1884, it served as a firehouse until 1897. After this it was used for various purposes until restored in 1960 and opened as a museum of fire-fighting equipment of the late 19th century."
Olvera Street is considered the birthplace of Los Angeles and there you will have to find the statue of its pioneer governor (at the Plaza of Overa St) with this caption:
Felipe de Neve
“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”
King Carlos of Spain ordered de Neve to establish a town along the river where Father Juan Crespi met some Indians. This was probably the first planned town in North America which later grew to be the great Los Angeles area!
And after seeing the statue, enjoy the several tacos to be had at outdoor cafes on Olvera Street, also known as El Pueblo Hisotric Monument. There are also several Mexican souvenir shops.
Welcome, I am the grandson of an original merchant of Olvera Street. My grand father's name is Juan Gutierrez. My grandmother's name is Lucy Gutierrez. They have been with the street at it's conception. The stands name was "El Balero". Due to the fact that my grandfather sold handmade balero's that were turned on his wood lathe. He was also a silversmith. Mexican fire opals and turquoise were his specialty. Every stone that was used for his jewelery was cut and polished by his own hands. He also made his own musical instruments such as maracas, castanets, and quiros. When I visit Olvera Street, I always stop at Cielito Lindo's for some taquitos. Ask for extra sauce. But be careful. You will get hooked on that guacamole sauce. It's like no other. And the ultimate cup of champurado can be found at La Luz Del Dia restaurant. And while you're at La Luz Del Dia, you might as well use the restroom upstairs. Have a nice day!
If you want to experience one of the best tasting taquitos the world has known, the place is the corner of Olvera Street. The way to do it is that you need two taquitos sauce over the top and MAKE SURE that you have them sprinkle cheese gently over the top so it can melt into the sauce and taquitos
Los Angeles was actually "born" at a Mexican street called "Olvera Street". The street is the oldest street of the city; from the times when there was no Los Angeles but a Spanish named city "El Pueblo nuestra Senora la reina de Los Angeles". That name meant something like "the city of the Queen of Angels".
The long history of Olvera Street is accessible in the homepages of Olvera Street.
The Avila Adobe was built in 1818 and is said to be the oldest existing house in LA.
The house is beautifully preserved and now appears, fully furnished, as it might have looked in the late 1840's. It is now part of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument.
The house is open for viewing daily between 9am and 3pm. Admission is free and it is well worth a good viewing. Even the garden is set with cacti and it reminded me that this is really all desert. There's an opportunity to leave a voluntary contribution.
It is accessed from Olvera Street and I am sure you will fall in love with that street just as I did. I'll write a seperate tip on that.
Tucked in the middle of LA is Olvera street which is where LA began as El Pueblo. Basically Olvera Street is a pedestrian only street that has a lot of Mexican restaurants ranging from the pricey to the very cheap. All of them are casual so no need to worry about dressing up... all the attention is paid to the excellent food and the decor.
The main part of the Olvera street is the market area where you can pick up all kinds of cool souvenirs. There are also a lot of arts and crafts stores. There's a pavilion too where there are several bands playing mostly Mexican music. It can range from pop, to rock n roll to Mariachi type music. If you're lucky, you can also see a performance by some talented dancers dressed up as Aztec Indians. I've only been there once on a major holiday weekend, so I can't say for sure if there will always be someone performing. Also, there are lots of little carts and vendors that offer delicious Mexican snacks. If you've never had the opportunity to eat any of them before, I'd recommend getting a Churro, which is a really tasty pastry.
Don't forget to check out Avila Adobe which is the oldest house in Los Angeles. It's located in the street market area. Check Olvera Street's website for more information.
I put up three pics, but to view more pics of this place, please visit my "Olvera Street" set where you can see more pics in higher quality. http://www.flickr.com/photos/joits/sets/72157594148245565/
Olvera Street or as most locals will call it "La Placita". This is one of the oldest streets in the City and named after Agustin Olvera who was the first judge of the county of Los Angeles. This is a popular place because it is to be the "historic heart " of Los Angeles. It is very common to see alot of school children here during the weekdays because it is a popular place for field trips as teachers teach their students about early life in LA. Some popular things to do on Olvera Street is eat good Mexican food, shop, take pictures, visit the Avila House (one of the oldest homes in LA), visit firestation #1, stop ny the Sepulveda House which is now a visitors center/museum.
On the weekends and sometimes on the weekdays you can even catch an Aztec dance show in the courtyard.
This is now a museum featuring 19th century tools and equipment for putting out fires. This is the oldest Firehouse in Los Angeles. Admission is free and there is someone there that can answer whatever questions you may have.
Fires used to be rare in LA in those times because most building were made from adode and if there were a fire neighbors would get together and put it out by forming a brigade and using the water at their disposal.
The first fire dept was created by volunteers and the firehouse was constructed in May 1884, completes in August. The stables were inside for the horses that pulled the fire engine. The floor has a unique turntable in the floor that made it junnecessary to back the horses in or out.
This is the only Eastlake Victorian Building on Olvera St. It was build in 1887 and is now a visitors center, gallery and exhibits atrifacts from that era.
There is a Bedroon exhibit that used to be the main lady of the house's bedroom. There is also a kitchen exhibit.
In all the times I have been to Olvera Street i had never noticed this building. I am really glad i saw it because in the visitors section you can get alot of useful info on LA.
Admission is free and it is opened from 10am to 3pm Monday -Saturday
Olvera Street is in the oldest part of Los Angeles. Named for the first County Judge, Augustin Olvera, in 1877, it was converted to a colorful Mexican marketplace in 1930. There are twenty-seven historic buildings.
Olvera Street is the birthplace of the City of Los Angeles, otherwise known as El Pueblo Historic Monument. The colorful village features 27 historic buildings with a traditional Mexican style plaza area. Wander around the marketplace and shop for souvenirs including handcrafted Mexican wares typical of old Mexico. There are also free docent tours by Las Angelitas.
Stroll through this beautiful street and stop for the popular taquitos or tacos at the outdoor cafes. Olvera Street also offers a variety of traditional authentic Mexican cuisine, with delicious enchiladas, mole and other native dishes.
On weekends you can enjoy outdoor entertainment by strolling bollero musicians, Mariachis music and performances by Aztec Indians and folkloric dancing.