Part of El Pueblo de Los Ángeles Historical Monument, Avila Adobe was built in 1818 and is the oldest residence in Los Angeles. Francisco Avila, mayor in 1810, built the Adobe to entertain and conduct business as it was in the center of the Plaza alongside working his rancho in the countryside. He hosted family as well as travelers including famous explorer Jedediah Smith. Though falling into ruin and condemned in 1920's, Christine Sterling from San Francisco, helped gain public interest and save it from destruction. The state acquired the property as a state park in 1953.