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LA's Green History


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Top 10 Reasons to take the

Los Angeles Metro Rail




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Top Ten Best Attractions in

Los Angeles




Olvera Street Museums


America Tropical

Metro Station: Union Station, Red, Purple and Gold Line

Walking Distance: 5 minutes/0.2 mile

Address: 125 Paseo de La Plaza, Los Angeles CA 90012

Phone: (213) 485-6855

Hours: Tues-Sun, 10am--3pm. Admission is free


America Tropical

Americá Tropical, the restored mural by artist David Alfaro Siqueiros is now open for viewing on Olvera Street.  This faded but still powerful indictment of American imperialism was painted over in 1934, two years after its unveiling in 1932.  Eighty years later, the Getty Trust and the city of Los Angeles have brought home the city’s most famous mural, painted by her fiercest critic. The $9.5 million dollar restoration project includes an interpretive center and a viewing platform. After visiting the mural, sample the Mexican restaurants on Olvera Street.




Metro Station: Union Station, Red, Purple and Gold Line

Walking Distance: 5 minutes/0.2 mile

Address: 10 Olvera Street Los Angeles, CA 90012

Phone:(213) 485-6855

Hours: Daily 9am-4pm. Admission is free.


Avila Adobe

Built in 1818 by wealthy cattleman Francisco Avila, the Avila Adobe is the oldest surviving residence in Los Angeles.  Its cooling walls are built from three foot thick adobe and its roof sealed with tar from the La Brea Tar Pits.  Over the decades, the house fell into decay until it was rescued by British philanthropist Christine Sterling, LA Times publisher Harry Chandler and descendants of the original Californios.  Today, you can experience ranchero life in the house’s seven furnished rooms and peaceful, verdant courtyard.  Eager-to-please docents are on hand to answer your questions.  




Chinese-American Museum

Metro Station: Union Station, Red, Purple and Gold Line

Walking Distance: 5 minutes/0.2 mile

Address: 425 N Los Angeles St Los Angeles, CA 90012

Phone: (213) 485-8567

Hours: Tues-Sun 10am-3pm. Suggested Admission: Adults $3.00; Seniors $2.00; Students $2.00


Chinese-American Museum

This intimate Olvera Street museum focuses on the history and culture, adversities and triumphs of Chinese-Americans as they fought for equality and accomplishment in the United States.  The museum is housed in the oldest surviving building from LA’s original Chinatown, which was razed to make way for Union Station.  The museum is centered around a compelling time line that tracks 150 years of the Chinese-American experience from the 1800s to the present. Especially poignant are the personal effects – letters, suitcases,  wedding gowns and children’s toys brought by immigrants from China to America.  A series of  rice bowls with ever increasing piles of rice grains symbolizes the growth of LA’s Chinese population from 0 to  329,350 in 2000.





Old Plaza Firehouse

Metro Station: Union Station, Red, Purple and Gold Line

Walking Distance: 5 minutes/0.2 mile

Address: 501 N Los Angeles St  Los Angeles, CA 90012

Phone: (213) 625-3741

Hours: Tues-Sun 10am-3pm Admission is free


Old Plaza Firehouse

Housed in the same restored brick building as the Chinese American Museum, the Old Plaza Firehouse offers a revealing glimpse into L.A. firefighting, circa 1900.  Opened in 1884, this was the first firehouse in Los Angeles, when blazes were battled by volunteers who responded on foot with their horse drawn water wagons.  The exhibits are well chosen – vintage equipment, photos, uniforms, alarms, the stable where the horses were kept and a wall of fire hats.  And like LAFD’s trucks today, the museum’s horse drawn fire wagon is gleaming and perfectly maintained.  With its doors open to Olvera Street plaza, this may be the only firefighting museum in America where you’re likely to be entertained by Aztec dancers as you explore.



Return from Olvera Street Museums

to Los Angeles Museums


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