04a La Placita - Our Lady Queen of Angels Church (E)
National Register of Historic Places No. 72000231, Added November 3, 1972
California Historical landmark No. 144
Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 3, Added August 6, 1962
Los Angeles Plaza Historic District
535 N Main St, Los Angeles, CA
A plaque across from the Old Plaza commemorates the founding of the city. It states: "On September 4, 1781, eleven families of pobladores (44 persons including children) arrived at this place from the Gulf of California to establish a pueblo which was to become the City of Los Angeles. This colonization ordered by King Carlos III of Spain was carried out under the direction of Governor Felipe de Neve." The small town received the name El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora Reina de los Ángeles sobre El Rio Porciuncula, Spanish for The Town of Our Lady Queen of the Angels on the Porciuncula River. The original pueblo was built to the southeast of the current plaza along the Los Angeles River. In 1815, a flood washed away the original pueblo, and it was rebuilt farther from the river at the location of the current plaza.
La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles
La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles (The Church of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels) is a Catholic church founded on August 18, 1814 by Fray Luis Gil y Taboada who placed the cornerstone of a new church amidst the ruins of the former "sub-mission," the Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles Asistencia to serve the local pobladores (settlers). The completed structure was dedicated on December 8, 1822. A replacement chapel, named for Mary, mother of Jesus (La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Angeles, or "The Church of Our Lady of the Angels") was rebuilt utilizing materials of the original church in 1861; Reina, meaning "Queen," was added later. For years the little chapel, which collected the nicknames "La Placita" and "Plaza Church," served as the sole Roman Catholic church in Los Angeles.
The facility has operated under the auspices of the Claretian Missionary Fathers since 1908.
It was designated one of the first three Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments in 1962, and has been designated as a California Historical Landmark,#144.
La Iglesia de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles (The Church of our Lady the Queen of Angels)
1818-22; 1861-62; 1875; 1912; 1923
535 N Main St
The simple, gabled-roofed adobe church was rebuilt and received a new facade in 1861. A bell tower was added in 1875. In 1912 the church was once more restored and enlarged, making it more "Mission" Spanish than it had been before. In 1923 a tiled roof replaced the late-nineteenth century shingled roof. As originally built, the facade of the church had a single arched entrace placed within a molded rectangle. Above was a single windows which lighted the choir and nave. Above a horizontal molding which followed the parapet molding fo the sides of the building was a single espadana (belfry wall). To the south of the facade was a compasario (single well bell tower) which had a single opening (not a double opening as we see it). And as was true of many of the early Spanish Mexican buildings of California, the church was at first flat-roofed. Thus, what we see today (internally and externally) is a modest village church which essentially dates from 1861 on.
Architecture in Los Angeles: A Compleat Guide
David Gephard and Robert Winter
Downtown, Plaza and Northeast, No. 1.