Lantern Festival PerformerSusan and I headed down to Olvera Street this afternoon for lunch at El Paseo Inn and for the annual Lantern Festival taking place in the nearby El Pueblo de Los Angeles historical monument. We got there too early to enjoy the good stuff (the lion dance and the silver dragon parade) and split before the presentation of the lanterns at 4:30 p.m., but it was otherwise very colorful and well-attended and coolest of all we got a unique chance to extensively explore the historic Pico House. Finished in 1870, Pico House was the city’s first three-story building and was considered the finest hotel in the southwest in its day.

And it just so happened that for whatever reason it was wide open from top to bottom, which meant Susan and I couldn’t help but wander through it entirely unsupervised — and of course that meant shimmying up an access ladder onto the roof!

I’ll shut up and let the pix do the talking:

Pico House interior courtyard
Pico House interior courtyard.

Pico House Third Floor Wall Detail
Wall detail on the second floor.

Pico House Third Floor Bannister
Looking down through the bannister from the third floor landing

Pico House North Wall
Susan with the thrid floor north wall windows in the background.

Union Station From the roof of Pico House
The view of Union Station from the Pico House roof.

I’ve cross-posted this to with a link to more photos from inside and atop Pico House via this photoset on — and belated thanks to Kevin Roderick at L.A. Observed for the link love!