ASICS LA MARATHON: MILE 3
After participants leave Chinatown, they turn onto Cesar Chavez Avenue, named in honor of union leader Cesar Chavez. At the corner of Cesar Chavez Ave and Main St sits Olvera Street, the former heart of Mexican community life in the early 19th century.
Known to many as “La Placita Olvera”, Olvera Street is part of the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, the historic district at the oldest section of Los Angeles. A quaint, quiet, depiction of Mexican culture, Olvera Street draws millions of visitors each year to its shops and restaurants.
The oldest standing structure in Los Angeles, the Avila Adobe was built in 1818 by wealthy cattle rancher, Francisco Avila. Although not as large as the original residence, the Avila Adobe has been restored to create an idea of what the original home was like.
THE LOS ANGELES PLAZA
At the entrance of Olvera Street sits the Los Angeles Plaza, which symbolizes the city’s birthplace. In the 1820s, the Plaza served as the city’s commercial and social center. Statues of three important figures in the city’s history sit in the plaza: King Carlos III of Spain, who ordered the founding of Los Angeles in 1780, Felipe de Neve, the Spanish Governor of the Californias who selected the site of the Pueblo and laid out the town, and Father Junipero Serra, who founded the first head of the Alta California missions.