Avila Adobe is the oldest standing resident in Los Angeles; it was built in 1818 and is now part of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument. The walls of the building are sun baked adobe bricks which are between 2 ½ to 3 feet thick. The ceilings which are still the original, are fifteen feet high with support beams made from cottonwood.
The floor of the building was originally hard-as-concrete compacted earth that was swept several times a day to keep the surface smooth. It was later covered with varnished wood planks.
Today the Avila has seven rooms left with much restoration work taken place to create an idea of what the home was originally like. The largest room in the home is the family room which was used for dining, entertaining and social gatherings. The 'sala' or living room was only used for special occasions such as weddings or baptisms.
Other areas of the adobe include a large courtyard with covered porches, stables and workshops. Recent archaeological finds revealed part of the Zanju Madre, which was used to transport water to the pueblo via a brick pipeline from the River.
Visitors are welcome to view the Avila Adobe for public tours which are free. In an educational building at the back of the house are exhibits, these exhibits include The History of Water in Los Angeles and a Tribute to Christine Sterling who helped save the Adobe and also created the Mexican Marketplace.
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