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The Birthplace of Los Angeles

By Linda Tancs

The oldest section in Los Angeles is the plaza area known as Olvera Street. Also known as El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, Calle Olvera and La Placita Olvera, it’s located two blocks from Los Angeles City Hall. A popular attraction for both tourists and locals, it’s home to the oldest house (now a museum and visitors’ center), Avila Adobe, saved from demolition in the 1920s by Christine Sterling. She later realized her dream of creating a market plaza that would celebrate the area’s Spanish and Mexican heritage. Today, Olvera Street remains a bustling marketplace with music, food, crafts and folklore celebrations. Free guided tours of El Pueblo are conducted by volunteer docents, Las Angelitas del Pueblo, Tuesday through Saturday at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. The tours start at the Las Angelitas del Pueblo office, located next to the Old Plaza Firehouse.

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