quinta-feira, novembro 16, 2006
A casa mais antiga de Los Angeles, construída em e ainda hoje existente, foi construída por António José Rocha, um português que estava embarcado na escuna Columbia e que fugiu para terra no Verão de 1815. Estava entre os 11 desertores deste barco, sendo que todos foram detidos menos ele.
Não resisto a citar:
"Rocha fled south to Los Angeles where he was accepted by the citizens and became the first foreigner to reside there. He started a blacksmith business and soon built a fine adobe house in town. His spacious home was situated on west side of Spring Street between Temple and 1st Streets. This site is now the parking lot of the Criminal Courts Building. It was at this house that he entertained explorer James Ohio Pattie in 1828. In 1855, the City and County of Los Angeles acquired this adobe for use as a meeting place for the city council and the county board of supervisors. It also served as a courthouse, sheriff's office and a jail, which was added to the rear of the structure. Furthermore, the former Rocha town house had the distinction of being Los Angeles' first city hall.
Rocha became one of the most respected residents of the pueblo and was naturalized as a Mexican citizen in 1831. In 1836, a forty-five year old Rocha moved to Santa Barbara where he lived with his wife, Josefa Alvarado, and their five children. Between 1828 and 1831, Rocha built a single story "L" shaped adobe hacienda at the southwest quadrant of Rancho La Brea. The original roof of this adobe was flat and there is little doubt that pitch from the tar geysers located less than a mile to the south was used to cover it. Although Rocha built this beautiful home on his rancho, he may have never lived there. He preferred his larger house in town, as did many other rancheros. Adobes were built on ranchos to comply with the Mexican law to have a structure built upon a given property within a year of its granting. These rancho adobes were usually occupied by the mayordomos (ranch managers)."