Avila Adobe, Los Angeles

Avila Adobe, Los Angeles

If you would like to know how the rich lived in Los Angeles in the 19th century, do visit the Ávila Adobe on Olvera Street. As the oldest residence still standing in Los Angeles, it is part of the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monuments. It was built in 1818 by Francisco Ávila, a wealthy cattle rancher, as a weekend and holiday home. He entertained friends here and traded his hides and tallow for fine furniture and the building’s wooden window and door frames.

The walls, built out of adobe bricks that had been sundried, are three feet thick. Once the floors were of hard-packed earth, but later varnished wooden planks were added. The ceilings are over 15ft high with cottonwood beams and the large rooms have many windows.

After Francisco Ávila’s death, his widow lived in the house until her death and it passed on to her children. Between 1868 and 1920 it was used as a restaurant and a bed and board. The area was a poor one and in 1926 the City Health Department decided to demolish the house. Luckily for history fans, an Englishwoman, Christine Sterling, who was interested in the city’s historical heritage, started a public campaign to save the building. Private donations flooded in from all around the city and the building was restored. The police department organized the prisoners of the county jail into work-groups and they cleaned up the surrounding plaza, turning it into a Mexican-style market-place.

Today only seven rooms remain of the original, larger house. They are open to the public as a house museum furnished as they would have been in Adobe’s time. You can see a four-poster bed, the family dining area, children’s ragdolls and, in the kitchen, an enormous washtub for bathing.

Why You Should Visit:
To see/imagine how life was back in the 19th century in this neighborhood, especially since most other houses have turned into shops/restaurants.

Tip:
The house/museum is free to the public and the public restroom is an added bonus.
You can see the whole place in 10 mins if you walk around, but take some time to also read the description on the wall.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-4pm

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Los Angeles. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Avila Adobe on Map

Sight Name: Avila Adobe
Sight Location: Los Angeles, USA (See walking tours in Los Angeles)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Los Angeles, California

Create Your Own Walk in Los Angeles

Create Your Own Walk in Los Angeles

Creating your own self-guided walk in Los Angeles is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
El Pueblo and Little Tokyo Walk

El Pueblo and Little Tokyo Walk

El Pueblo is the oldest district in Los Angeles, centered on the old plaza, once the city's administrative and commercial center under the Spanish (1781–1821), Mexican (1821–1847), and United States (after 1847) rule through most of the 19th century. On this self guided walk, you will have a chance to explore the birthplace of Los Angeles and, with a short detour to the nearby Little...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Movie Studios Tour

Movie Studios Tour

Los Angeles movie studios are truly star factories, where many great movies are filmed. There are many movie studios in Los Angeles. Some of them, such as Paramount Pictures and Dreamworks, are very famous, while others, like Raleigh and Ren-Mar are lesser known, but they all had their moments in the film history. Check out these wonderful movie studios in Los Angeles in this self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles
LA Downtown Walk

LA Downtown Walk

If you’re looking for a healthy dose of unique architecture, fantastic food finds, museums, and countless hours of entertainment, you’ll find it in Downtown LA. Take a tour of the mind-blowing Walt Disney Concert Hall or cutting-edge Museum of Contemporary Art, stop in for a quick snack at the bustling Grand Central Market, go up and down Angels Flight Railway or go 70 floors up at the iconic...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
Downtown Architecture Walking Tour

Downtown Architecture Walking Tour

Los Angeles means many things to many people, but it undoubtedly has some of the most significant architecture in the world. The city of LA was one of the centers of the art deco movement and features a great number of amazing historic houses, monuments, as well as modern buildings. Take this self-guided tour to explore the most beautiful buildings in Los Angeles.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Art District Walking Tour

Art District Walking Tour

The Arts District is one of the hottest neighborhoods in downtown L.A., located between Little Tokyo at Alameda to the west and the railroad yards and Los Angeles River to the east. Formerly an industrial area of warehouses and factories, it has been home to art studios and galleries since the 1970s. Having undergone another downturn in the 1990s, it was officially renamed the “Arts District.”...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Beverly Hills Walking Tour

Beverly Hills Walking Tour

Undeniably one of the most famous places in the world, Beverly Hills is widely known as the most fashionable destination in Los Angeles county to shop and have fun at. From luxury hotels and stores to gastronomic restaurants and celebrity homes, it’s easy to fall in love with Beverly Hills. Still, apart from indulging in world-renowned shopping or trying to catch a glimpse of a celebrity, there...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


15 Charming Cafes with Fast and Free Wifi in Los Angeles

15 Charming Cafes with Fast and Free Wifi in Los Angeles

Need to find free wireless connection AND a great cup of coffee? These charming cafes, hot-spots and writers’ hang-outs are scattered across LA but catalogued by neighborhood. These indie cafes cater to screenwriters, students and tourists who want to set up camp with their laptops for a few hours...
Los Angeles: 15 Souvenir Shopping Tips and Ideas for Travelers

Los Angeles: 15 Souvenir Shopping Tips and Ideas for Travelers

With some many celebrities per square mile, living or just visiting, practically any stone in LA could pass for a souvenir that one time or another was touched, held or walked upon by some of the movie or rock stars, or was filmed in one of the many movies shot in the City of Angels for almost a...
10 Amazing Food to Try in Los Angeles (LA)

10 Amazing Food to Try in Los Angeles (LA)

I love food. You love food too. And because we’re foodies, we want every meal to be as good as if it were our last. So for those few times us foodies sit at a table and unexpectedly strike gold, we must remember, honor and share that memorable meal. Here is a list of affordable LA area culinary...