Olvera Street started as just a short lane which was known as the Wine Street. In 1877, the lane was extended to a main street and its name was changed to Olvera Street. This was named in honor of Agustin Olvera who was the first county judge of Los Angeles and his home was located at the end of the street. There were several buildings built along the Olvera Street such as the Avila Adobe, the Pelacon House which was the oldest brick house in Los Angeles and the Sepulveda House which was a business as well as a residential building for the Eastlake Victorian. The street however experienced a considerable decline by 1903 when a large, noisy substation was set up next to the Avila Adobe to be a source of power for electric streetcars in Los Angeles. Another hall for Italians was constructed in 1907 at the north end of the street which expanded across the street in 1914. This saw a great decline of the street until 1926 when socialite Christine Sterling visited the site and was shocked by the condition at the place which she referred to as the oldest part of the city. She started a mission to save the street with funding sourced from influential people and publicity from the Los Angeles Times. She set up a corporation with the aim of revitalizing the Olvera Street (Estrada, 112).
The increased publicity of the matters attracted support from several sources which included building materials from companies such as the blue Diamond Cement. Christine Sterling also restored the Avila Adobe and created a beautiful Mexican market place and a cultural center in the Plaza. The project continued to receive financial support and was completed in 1930 when it was officially opened and officially named as the Olvera Street and became a tourist site.
The revival of the Olvera Street into a tourist site has contributed a lot to the growth and development of Los Angeles as a global world city. As industrialization peaked in Los Angeles Downtown, Olvera Street was a charming, colorful and cool environment.Â It was therefore a clear depiction of the charming Mexican culture. The culture and romance depicted by this site became a tourist attraction and this in one way contributed to the growth and development of Los Angeles. The street became part of the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument and today it contains twenty seven historical buildings among them the Avila Adobe. The Avila Adobe holds some displays of Hispanic culture and sceneries from the earliest times of Los Angeles. These sceneries attract many people from various countries who have a desire for the Mexican culture and romance. Olvera Street itself has various stands where tourists can shop for souvenirs and handcrafted Mexican wares.Â There are also various restaurants where one can eat lunch and also various foods stands (Estrada, 109).
Basically, the Olvera Street was a product of the social and economic mission that was started by the civic cities in the transformation of Downtown Los Angeles through the abolishment of undesirable residents. Its theme of old Mexico has being en a major boost for the city where modern tourists are in desire of sites against industrialization (Estrada, 107). The street retained a culture against modernity, urban decay and industrialization. It has therefore been doing well to the growth of Los Angeles due to this culture. Most people in the world are in need of a site which is not under the influence of industrialization and the urban hazards and this is what has made the Olvera Street to stand out as a global world city.Â