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As the region coined “The Birthplace of L.A.”, San Gabriel’s second oldest adobe was built during California’s early mission days between 1792 and 1805. Believed to have been constructed as housing for the soldiers in charge of protecting Mission San Gabriel Arcangel, this structure rose again to historical significance when it was sold in 1860 to Don Jean Vigare and became San Gabriel’s very first bakery.
The property is currently being used as a personal residence although the possibilities are endless for this impressive estate. Whether a potential buyer is considering it as a personal residence, bed & breakfast inn, museum, or even Hollywood movie set, the carefully preserved historic charm and secluded ambiance of this one-of-a-kind property will take you back to a time of stunning natural beauty in both building and landscape architectures.



The property itself is protected and completely surrounded by an approximately 18 inch thick adobe wall boldly accentuated by capped buttresses as well as various native plants, flowers, and cacti. Three stately wooden gates with original hammered iron hardware are the only entrances into the park-like setting just beyond the adobe walls.
The front of the lot hosts a cobblestone paved courtyard built around an awe-inspiring 18 th century water fountain. Down either side of the lot are two long brick paved driveways, one of which leads to the garage of the main house and the other to the guest house parking.



The backyard is seemingly endless as it flows around large trees, a pool & spa accented in Spanish tiles, luscious green landscape and too many plants to mention. More akin to a private park than a yard, these grounds are truly made for people who appreciate space and all that mother nature has to offer.
As a transition to the interior of the main home, a large tiled courtyard in the backyard is set around yet another wonderful mission style water fountain and framed by backyard greenery to the rear and the dining room’s leaded glass windows to the front.



A wide Spanish-tiled porch almost circumnavigates the perimeter of the entire house. It is here that, one can easily envision early Spanish soldiers walking amidst robbed priests from the nearby mission. Dotting this extensive porch are the various charmingly rustic lanterns hung from rafters and providing a warm inviting glow at both dawn and dusk.
To enter through the front door of the main house, one must pass through 27 inch thick adobe walls. This, coincidentally, is the oldest section of the house. The thick walls not only aid in deflecting the wayward cannonball, but also help provide excellent insulation and a very comfortable climate when combined with the homes central heating and cooling systems. Beyond the door, one will find a wide living room with fireplace and entertainment area to the right and a more casual conversation area to the left.



Looking above, the dark aged rafters and beams provide a very warm feel yet give a splendid contrast against the pale adobe walls. Straight ahead and through one of the numerous arched doorways is an amazing sight as the sun permeates the color palette of the dining rooms leaded glass windows.
The dining room was truly meant for a king as it hosts a panoramic view of the backyard and courtyard areas. It also hosts an enormous fireplace that ads warmth and vintage charm to this large room. Handsome period shutters give the option of guarding against unwanted light from entering the long strand of dining room windows. Looking down one will notice the large hexagon shaped Spanish-tiles that are carried on as flooring throughout the entire home.



Dinner is prepared in the adjacent kitchen which has a French door leading to the front and a rear door to the backyard courtyard. The backsplash tile work features unique arched niches done in a striking blue Spanish tile. Opposite the front door, a guest bathroom that once again displays wonderful ceramic tile wainscoting is further enriched by the ever popular high tank toilet.
A second smaller room currently functioning as the 2nd kitchen features modern professional chef grade appliances and sits adjacent to the bathroom. It’s subtlety makes for a nice break when modern convenience is desired as it doesn’t stand out as an obtrusive clash with the homes vintage nature. This room has endless possibilities from its current use to utility room, walk in pantry, or even home office.



Walking back through the dining room to the other wing of the house is where the sleeping quarters are found. The tall ceilings and wood trim once again contrast the light hue of the adobe walls. Two bedrooms and two bathrooms are found down the western corridor while closet space and the master suite occupy the eastern boundary. One of the bedrooms to the west features a fireplace that provides the room with a friendly warm atmosphere. Both bathrooms on this side once again incorporate ceramic tiling and high tank toilets into their ambiance.
The master suite is one that would please even the most demanding Spanish Five Star General. Glancing around the room one can’t help but notice the generous size even by modern day standards. The centerpiece of the room is yet another fireplace bringing the grand total for the home to four. Opposite the fireplace is a romantic master bath featuring a modern spa tub that is once again trimmed by the classic look of mission-era tile. Hidden out of view but not out of convenience is the homes fourth high tank toilet. And this master wouldn’t be complete without a fitting French door providing a view and access to the adjacent courtyard.



Venturing back out into the yard and to the north, one will notice another structure currently functioning as a home office. This detached two bedroom structure can also be utilized as a guest home. More than likely this rustic gem provided housing to the servants who maintained this elaborate property but our historic records do not say for certain. This second home is also serviced by its own entrance, driveway, and parking accommodations.
And speaking of parking, the current owner has indicated hosting family parties where they were able to park an astonishing 27 cars within the walls of the estate. This, however, is not a guarantee as automobile sizes and parking creativity will vary.




Recently, the entire roof was upgraded to a fire-proof wood shingle reflective of the type of styles seen in the Mission district just up the street. Expect this virtually maintenance-free roof to age like fine wine over the next few years as the color will continue to become a slightly darker and richer shade.
The Ortega-Vigare Adoabe is one of California’s most understated historical landmarks and an integral part of the development of modern day Los Angeles. It is truly a property that has earned its own acclaim and would be best left in the hands of a person or group possessing the respectful appreciation that this property so deserves. It is with high hopes that anybody knowing of such a person or group interested in owning a piece of Southern California History would have them contact us as soon as possible. And because this property is still owned by the family residing within the house, we ask the community’s respect in not disturbing them as this magical estate will be shown by appointment only. Thank you in advance for your understanding.

contents copyright © Foust Asset Development 2006
All Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.