Trip Planner:   USA  /  California  /  Los Angeles  /  Avila Adobe

Avila Adobe, Los Angeles

4.5
#15 of 44 in Historic Sites in Los Angeles
Historic Site · History Museum
Create an itinerary including Avila Adobe
The Ávila Adobe, built in 1818 by Francisco Ávila, is the oldest standing residence in the city of Los Angeles, California. Avila Adobe is located in the paseo of historic Olvera Street, a part of the Los Angeles Plaza Historic District, a California State Historic Park. The building itself is registered as California Historical Landmark #145, while the entire historic district is both listed on the National Register of Historic Places and as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.

The Plaza is the third location of the original Spanish settlement El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Ángeles sobre el Río Porciúncula, the first two having been washed out by flooding from the swollen Río Porciúncula (Los Angeles River). The Avila Adobe was one of the settlement's first houses to share street frontage in the Pueblo de Los Angeles of Spanish colonial Alta California.

The walls of the Avila Adobe are 2.5–3 feet (0.76–0.91 m) thick and are built from sun-baked adobe bricks. The original ceilings were 15 feet (4.6 m) high and supported by beams of cottonwood, which was available along the banks of the Los Angeles River. Though the roof appears slanted today, the original roof was flat. Tar (Spanish: brea) was brought up from the La Brea Tar Pits, located near the north boundary line of Avila's Rancho Las Cienegas. The tar was mixed with rocks and horsehair, a common binder in exterior building material, and applied to beams of the roof as a sealant from inclement weather.

The original floor of the Avila adobe was hard-as-concrete compacted earth, which was swept several times a day to keep the surface smooth and free from loose soil. (Dirt floors were common among most early adobes.) In later years, varnished wood planks were used as flooring.

The original structure was nearly twice as long as it now appears and was "L"-shaped, with a wing that extended nearly to the center of Olvera Street. The rear of the house had a long porch facing the patio. Francisco tended a garden and a vineyard in the rear courtyard. The nearby Zanja Madre (literally "Mother Ditch") was a main water aqueduct and irrigation ditch that brought water down to the Pueblo from the Los Angeles River and was close enough to the adobe for Francisco Avila to avail himself. Avila eventually added a wooden veranda and steps to the front of the adobe.
Put Avila Adobe on your schedule, and learn what else deserves a visit by using our Los Angeles tour itinerary planner.
Source
Create a full itinerary - for free!

Avila Adobe reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
109 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • THis is an amazingg free attraction. I love this old house and they hiistory behind. constructed in 1818. this place is right there in Olvera street. do not miss this. 
    THis is an amazingg free attraction. I love this old house and they hiistory behind. constructed in 1818. this place is right there in Olvera street. do not miss this.  more »
  • Located on Olvera Street in the middle of a large Mexican market area is Avila Adobe. Avila Adobe is a 1970’s rebuilt replica of an 1820 home that was destroyed by an earthquake in 1971. There is a....  more
    Located on Olvera Street in the middle of a large Mexican market area is Avila Adobe. Avila Adobe is a 1970’s rebuilt replica of an 1820 home that was destroyed by an earthquake in 1971. There is a....  more »
Google
  • Great historical location in the heart of Los Angels! Authentic and a great look into the past. The history here is beautiful and the stuff does a great job keeping this casa clean and informative. Fruit and agriculture within the property is lively and well taken care of.
  • Okay if you happen to be near downtown LA you should definitely come to this Adobe located near the famous Placita Olvera! :-) there is free admission to the Avila Adobe this is the oldest existing house in Los Angeles. Give me the belt about 1818 I don't own a villa and it was occupied briefly as American headquarters in 1847. It was severely damaged in the earthquake of 1971, the house is not restored as an example of California lifestyle in the 1840s!

Plan your trip to Los Angeles

  • Compose it!
    Your own itinerary for your car vacation, beach vacation, city trip, any near or distant journey ... ready within 10 minutes.
  • Customize it.
    Refine your plan. We find the best routes and opportunities.
  • Book it.
    Choose from the best accommodations (Expedia, AirBnB), airlines and activities, by yourself or share with travel professionals for the utmost experience. Up to 50% discount!
  • Do it yourself.
    Or share your plan with travel professionals for a customized trip