QUIZ – What Lies Beneath (Avila Adobe)

Okay, you guys got it. The full answer’s after the jump. :)

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Well since y’all had so much fun with this last week, let’s try this little game again!

Just to refresh your memory, here’s how it goes… first we’ll show you a spot on a google map (see below). We’re thinking of a notable location that’s within walking distance of that exact point, less than a block or two away. Within 24 hours we’ll give you the full details… but as before, we’re going to give you a little time to guess what we’re referring to first. Again, don’t you dare go cheating by googling the address. Cheaters never prosper. (And if you know the answer right away please try not to announce it too quickly and ruin the game for the people who don’t.)

Lastly, if you need a hint, scroll down and we’ll give you one. :)

Ready? GO!


View Larger Map

HINT:
It’s historic and off limits to the public.

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The correct answer of what lies under these hedges is (drum roll on the table with your fingers, please)

map

La Casa de Rancho La Brea, otherwise known as The Gilmore Adobe!

Believe it or not, the entire Grove shopping center was built *around* a small 156-year-old adobe home. The original building had two rooms with packed dirt floors and a brea (tar) roof from the La Brea Tar Pits. It’s currently used as office space and completely closed to the public except when it’s used as a location for very occasional special events.

The story according to LAokay:
©PlacesEarth.com

In the 1880s Arthur Gilmore purchased a small piece of Rancho La Brea near the old Rocha Adobe. Gilmore used the old adobe as his home and it was there that his son Earl B. Gilmore was born. Gilmore operated a dairy on his farm. In 1903, while drilling a well for artesian water, the dairy farmer found oil instead. He drilled numerous other wells, all bringing in gushers. Soon, the little dairy farm became an oil field with tall wooden derricks, processing structures, and a shantytown to house oil workers. The dairy was sold and the A.F. Gilmore Oil Company was founded.

Arthur’s son, Earl B. Gilmore, enlarged Gilmore Oil into the largest independent oil company in the western United States. Earl Gilmore had ample opportunity to live in a huge mansion on a grand estate, but he chose to make his home at the little old adobe house where he was born. In the 1920s, the young oil magnate had major improvements made to the aging dwelling, which by then became known as the Gilmore Adobe. Gilmore hired John Byers to restore and remodel the adobe. The north wing and a low second story were added to the original structure. Pitched gable roofs with terra-cotta tiles were also added. The place was modernized to the 1920s standards of living.

Soon the environment around the old adobe started to lose its quiet rural quality and become more updated. In 1934, the Farmer’s Market was established at 3rd Street and Fairfax Avenue, bringing hordes of farmers and consumers together. That same year saw the construction of Gilmore Stadium, an 18,000 capacity sports complex located at the corner of Beverly Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. In 1939, Earl Gilmore opened his newly completed Gilmore Field on the site of his father’s first oil field. For several years it served as the home field of the Hollywood Stars, a professional baseball team from the defunct Pacific Coast League. Both Gilmore Stadium and Gilmore Field were torn down to be replaced by the present CBS Television Studios in 1952.

As all this building activity engulfed the area, the Gilmore Adobe had withdrawn into a tiny oasis of trees and grass in the middle of an asphalt covered parking lot. It was kept from almost certain destruction by its owner, Mr. Gilmore. On February 27, 1964, Earl Gilmore died in the same bedroom of the adobe where he was born.

Present Day
On March 6, 1991 the Rancho La Brea Adobe also known as the Gilmore Adobe was designated Los Angeles Cultural and Historical Landmark #534a.

Today, the adobe stands at the end of Gilmore Lane north of 3rd Street and east of Fairfax Avenues on a privately owned parking lot. The adobe is hidden in an oasis of trees and hedges in an expanse of asphalt. It’s no longer a residence and now serves as the corporate offices of Farmer’s Market. It’s not open to the public for display and trespassing is forbidden, but a glimpse an iron barred gate between the thick spruce trees reveals the front of this resplendent adobe. The courtyard, with its beautifully manicured lawn, is completely surrounded by trees and shrubs, so the front gate is the only view available, although it is partially obstructed. From this vantage point, one can see the front “corredor” (porch) shaded from the afternoon sun from the overhang of the red tile roof. This darkened area adorned with potted plants and flowers seems so inviting on a warm summer day.

There is a hope that one day the beauty of this hidden landmark may be opened for the enjoyment of a citizenry that cherishes its historic past.


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21 Responses to “QUIZ – What Lies Beneath (Avila Adobe)”

  1. cwillows says:

    There is a historic hacienda just between Maggiano’s & the Grove parking structure, but I can’t recall it’s exact significance!

  2. Juli Shanblatt says:

    I think it’s called the Gilmore Adobe.

  3. Tony says:

    I’m thinking something related to the studio? It’s just at the limit of the one block radius, but…

  4. yoderek says:

    There used to be a baseball field and a racetrack there.

  5. It is indeed Gilmore Adobe, but the label above is slightly off. The actual building is in the brown-roof cluster directly ABOVE the word “Genesee”.

  6. melissa says:

    yeah the adobe house I know that’s now what it’s called:) it used to be the offices for the higher ups at the market I got to go with someone I knew who worked at the market and had to drop something off. very cool and I love the chickens and rooster there:)

  7. Karen says:

    I’m going to guess Pan Pacific Auditorium, although it’s not there anymore.

  8. Joshua Frederick says:

    It’s the Rancho La Brea Adobe.

  9. Dana says:

    The Gilmore Adobe?

  10. Duff Moses says:

    Gilmore field. An early airstrip once visited by the Graf zeppelin.

  11. Terry says:

    It is the Gilmore Adobe. Built about 1847. EB Gilmore was born and died there. His father purchased the land from the LaBrea Rancho, and started a dairy farm. The family later struck oil. The Building has been remodeled and is the office for the Gilmore Co. which owns Farmer’s Market and the Grove.

  12. David says:

    It absolutely is the Gilmore Adobe; you can see it from the outside, but it’s open only occasionally, mostly to groups of “important” people, for their meetings.

  13. Joelle says:

    I’m terrible at this game. It’s near where my great-grandmother used to live. (Really!) Ö)

  14. Kim Cooper says:

    Pre-Grove you could still wander in there and poke around at the bucolic old Gilmore Adobe… which for some reason was crawling with fancy chickens who liked to hang out in the tool shed!

    Pre-Grove there was also an excellent antique mall in the parking lot. Sigh…

  15. Bob Beecher says:

    The Gilmore Adobe is the location of our agency’s Cinco de Mayo event on April 30, 2010. Check our website for more info!

  16. Gail says:

    Ha! Now this was one I DID know.
    In fact, I’d only “discovered” it a matter of months ago. I grew up within walking distance of this house and was in the back seat of the 1955 Olds my dad taught my mother to drive when the car was new. His favored spot for driving lessons was the Farmer’s Market parking lot on Sunday morning. I remember driving by this funny old house and thinking how out of place it looked on the Farmer’s Market property. I developed sort of a fascination for it, and looked for it each time there was another lesson. Years later when I was old enough to go on my own, I went back looking for the house and found no sign of it– and until last December when I came upon a historical web site which had a photo of this mystery house, I’d long since convinced myself that I’d conjured the place up in my own imagination!

  17. Debra says:

    When I was a kid, a place called “Ponyland” occupied what is the Beverly Center. My mom took me there every weekend to ride the ponies; “Pickles” and “Taffy” were my favorites!

    • lynnster says:

      Debra, are you referring to Kiddyland?

      • Harvey says:

        According to Wikipedia, Gilmore Stadium was razed to make way for CBS Television City in 1952, but Gilmore Field operated until September, 1957, as the home of the Hollywood Stars. I went to a number of games with my father (I was 8 or 9) including one game with an overflow crowd that they did not want to turn away. As Gilmore Field had a very deep outfield they just roped off an area in the outfield and filled it with fans – standing room only! The outfielders came within inches of us chasing fly balls that night.

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