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A Look Back at Olvera Street, From the 1890s Till the 1990s


1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Librarythe office of Philip Morici and Co.1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library" and the grocery store of Giovanni Piuma1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Librarylocated at Main and Sunset Boulevard (this section later renamed Paseo Luis Olivares). The area north of the Plaza was at this time an Italian neighborhood.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library1926: Group photo of the Hidalgo Orchestra1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library1926: Group photo of the Hidalgo Orchestra1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library1926: Group photo of the Hidalgo Orchestra1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library1926: Group photo of the Hidalgo Orchestra1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library1926: Group photo of the Hidalgo Orchestra1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library1926: Group photo of the Hidalgo Orchestra1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Libraryfirst governor of Alta California at the time of the founding of Los Angeles in 1781; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library1932: People are seen strolling and shopping on Olvera Street.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library1935: A girl wearing many hats on her head is shown in front of a pottery shop on Olvera Street.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library1936: Ceremonies commemorating the 1846 U.S. takeover of Los Angeles at the Avila Adobe on Olvera Street during the 1936 La Fiesta de Los Angeles. Troops in 1846 uniforms carry both the California sate flag and the Stars & Stripes at the Plaza to the north of Olvera Street.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library1936: A Catholic priest and altar boys on Olvera Street during the 1936 Fiesta de Los Angeles; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library1936: Performers dressed in Spanish-style costume on Olvera Street during the 1936 La Fiesta de Los Angeles. Shown are a guitar player1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library1936: Performers dressed in Spanish-style costume on Olvera Street during the 1936 La Fiesta de Los Angeles. Shown are a guitar player1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library1936: Performers dressed in Spanish-style costume on Olvera Street during the 1936 La Fiesta de Los Angeles. Shown are a guitar player1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library1936: Performers dressed in Spanish-style costume on Olvera Street during the 1936 La Fiesta de Los Angeles. Shown are a guitar player1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Libraryidentified as A. Manders from Mexico1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Libraryidentified as A. Manders from Mexico1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Libraryand behind him1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Libraryis a woman carrying a small suitcase. Following the couple are two small girls1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Libraryis a woman carrying a small suitcase. Following the couple are two small girls1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Libraryis a woman carrying a small suitcase. Following the couple are two small girls1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Libraryand a striped awning covers the patio dining. Tuxedoed waiters mix with musicians1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Libraryand a striped awning covers the patio dining. Tuxedoed waiters mix with musicians1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Librarywatching two musicians1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Librarywatching two musicians1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public LibraryHelen Duffs Treasure House1892: Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza. The adobe to the left is the former residence and occasional courtroom of Judge Augustin Olvera. The large two-story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo and the first home of St. Vincent's College. The Los Angeles City Water Company has a painted sign, and is visible on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda Street. The Plaza looks immaculately clean. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.; Credit: Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library

Founded in 1781, Olvera Street is considered the oldest part of downtown Los Angeles. Of course there are no images from that far back, but the Los Angeles Public Library's photo archive does go back all the way to 1892, with a panoramic image of the plaza, looking much different than it does today. This collection of photos from the archive spans from the late 19th century through the 1930s with costumed dancers and performers, into the late '60s with a visit from Bobby Kennedy, and all the way to the late '90s, when Richard Riordan was mayor.