El Pueblo de Los Angeles was founded in 1781 as a Spanish colony by settlers from present-day Mexico, as well as settlers of Indian, African and European descent. Its story represents a microcosm of the city's multiethnic history and heritage. Capital of Mexican California in the 1840s, the town grew with the influx of Anglo-Americans, Europeans and Chinese later in the 19th century. As Los Angeles blossomed into a modern metropolis, the old pueblo fell into disrepair. It was revitalized with the opening in 1930 of the Mexican marketplace at Olvera Street, which reflected popular romantic notions of old California. In 1953 the historic district was made a California state park; it is now a department of the city of Los Angeles. Illustrated in colour throughout, this volume combines text with historical paintings, archival photographs and newly-commissioned photography to create a portrait of the pueblo, its history, and its heritage. Initial chapters survey life in the Spanish, Mexican and early American periods.
The work then discusses the transformation of Olvera Street and tells the story of the Siqueiros mural "America Tropical", a remarkable tale of art, ideology and politics in 1930s Los Angeles. The final chapters tour the pueblo's historic buildings and discuss initiatives for preserving its rich heritage, including the collaboration between the Getty Conservation Institute, El Pueblo Historical Monument, and others to conserve "America Tropical".
Publisher: Getty Trust Publications