Don Francisco Avila, a wealthy cattle rancher and one-time Mayor of the pueblo of Los Angeles, built the Avila Adobe in 1818. The Avila Adobe, presently the oldest existing residence within the city limits, was one of the first town houses to share street frontage in the new Pueblo de Los Angeles.
In 1930, through the efforts of activist Christine Sterling, the Plaza-Olvera area was revived with the opening of Paseo de Los Angeles (which later became popularly known by its official street name Olvera Street). Receiving recognition, Avila Adobe is preserved as “the oldest and most historic building in Los Angeles” and Olvera Street is noted as “the first thoroughfare of Los Angeles.”
The Avila Adobe 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 image on the left shows Olvera Street in 1929, looking across at vending booths in front of the Avila Adobe with two pedestrians walking near.