Today's Articles

People, Locations, Episodes

Mon, 05.16.1870

The Pico House, and Hotel Opens

The Pico House

*The opening of the Pico House is celebrated on this date in 1870. This historic building is in Los Angeles, California, at 430 North Main Street.

It sits across the old Los Angeles Plaza from Olvera Street and El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument.  Pio Pico, an Afro Mexican businessman and the last Mexican Governor of Alta California, ordered the construction of a luxury hotel. The architect was Ezra F. Kysor, who also designed the Cathedral of Saint Vibiana, and construction began in 1869. The resulting Italianate three-story, 33-room hotel, dubbed Pico House (or Casa de Pico), was the most lavish hotel in Southern California, and its opening was cause for much celebration.

It had nearly 80 rooms, large windows, a small interior court, and a grand staircase. In the days of the hotel's importance, the courtyard featured a fountain and an aviary of exotic birds. The structure forms three sides of a trapezoid whose open end immediately abuts the adjacent Merced Theatre, thus forming the courtyard. The back of the hotel faces Sanchez Street, where supply wagons and other large vehicles use the large gate. Its time in the spotlight lasted only a short time. By 1876, the Southern Pacific Railroad had linked the city with the rest of the country, and more residents and businesspeople began pouring in.

Pio Pico started having financial troubles and lost the hotel to the San Francisco Savings and Loan Company. The city's business center began to move south, and by 1900, the condition of the building began to decline. It was operated as a lodging house until the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument acquired it. Parts of this building were renovated in 1981 and 1992. The ground floor is for exhibits and other events. The Pico House is a California Historical Landmark (No. 159) and a National Historic Landmark as a part of the Los Angeles Plaza Historic District (NPS-72000231).

New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

I do not want to stand Beside you at the feast; You eat of rot. Or walk Beside you; your pace is not my pace. To follow You or be... MY OWN HALLELUJAHS by Zack Gilbert.
Read More