El Molino Viejo harks back to California’s colonial past

October 1, 2014

Colonial Cinema

Originally constructed in 1816 as a mill for the mission named Saint Gabriel, El Molino Viejo is a jewel of southern California. The building is considered the oldest commercial building in the area. El Molino Viejo also known as The Old Mill conducts an annual concert hosted by the California philharmonic orchestra each summer.


The various techniques used in building the El Molino Viejo would undoubtedly bemuse many of today’s architects. Composed of oven baked volcanic matter and brick, some of the walls of this structure is remarkably thick. Upper level walls are constructed by layered sun dried sheets of brick.


Mortar made of lime covers the various surfaces of the building. Buttress which supports three corners gives strength and protection against earthquakes and vibrations from machines used inside the building. El Molino Viejo’s many attractions including the present entrance room which used to be the grinding room a long time back, shows the beauty and regal elegance of the building. Other rooms such as the old granary which is being used as a display area for the California art club has a lot of history to offer.


In the olden days the mill was powered by water that ran through the mill down under a ditch towards Mission Lake. Sections of the structure that used to be the water tank can still be viewed through the western front of the building. Nowadays the area around the lake is called San Marino’s Lacy Park.


The Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa, Pasadena is located near an area which is ideally placed for the sightseeing traveller interested in visiting the El Molino Viejo mill. Well known among Los Angeles hotelsthis particular Pasadena hotelhas been recommended for any kind of tourist who has plans to enjoy the beauty and history of El Molino Viejo. As a curious traveller you yourself may want to visit this unique historical sight of El Molino Viejo sooner rather than later.

Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.

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