Friday, July 13, 2012

Olvera Street

The Birth Place of L.A.

The entrance to Olvera Street is across from the Union Station and part of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Park.  It was originally named Calle de las Vignas (Wine Street) and is one of the oldest streets in the city.  The street was renamed in 1877 to honor Agustin Olvera, a well-liked local judge.  Today it is a colorful, festive Mexican market place and a great place to buy a souvenir.  I came home with some dishes rather than my usual bag of clothes (much to Mimi's dismay); however, I took lots of pictures of the gorgeous summer dresses.  Next time, Mimi!

There are 27 historic buildings lining this little street.  The Avila Adobe is the oldest; built in 1818.  The Pelanconi House was built in 1855; and Sepulveda House in 1887.  Although the street had been a mecca for business in the 1800's,  by the 20th century it had become a slum and its history forgotten.  Fortunately, a campaign was waged in 1926 to save the birthplace of L.A.    The street was closed to cars and restoration began.  Today, Olvera Street is a major tourist attraction.  There are several good Mexican restaurants on the street with outside patios--perfect for people watching.   I did just that.  Since I wasn't driving , I ordered a second margarita .  Around 6 pm, I walked across the street and caught the train home.  A most enjoyable day!

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