Olvera Street – Where it All Began

June 6, 2011

Olvera Street in the oldest part of Downtown LA is now part of the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument. 27 historic buildings line Olvera, including the Sepulveda the Pelanconi Houses. Los Angeles was actually founded in 1781 just south and east of Olvera Street near the Los Angeles River and called El Pueblo de Nuesta Señora Reina de Los Ángeles. It emerged as the core of the Mexican community and remained so until 1848. After a significant decline in the early 1900s through the late 1920s, Christine Sterling stirred up efforts to revive the area by first campaigning to preserve the Francisco Avila Adobe from demolition. Her efforts eventually succeeded and the area once again became a lively Mexican market place. The Plaza-Olvera Street site was designated as a California State Historic Landmark in 1953. Mexican music, dancing and holiday celebrations still take place here. People bring their animals to be blessed every Easter during the The Blessing of The Animals which has been held since 1930. The event and the animal parade that follows, is worth adding to your Los Angeles destination itinerary.

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