ARTIST’S SKETCH OF JUAN DOMINGO RESIDENCE, 1850

“Artist’s sketch of Juan Domingo’s large adobe home and vineyard located on the corner of Alameda and Aliso streets. Domingo’s real name was Johann Gronigen, a native of Holland who came to America as a ship carpenter. He settled in Los Angeles, and by reason of his arrival in town on a Sunday, and the difficult pronunciation of his German name, the natives called him Juan Domingo – he abandoned the use of his family name thereafter. Domingo became a man of property and influence; he died on December 18, 1858. The home was sketched by Edward Vischer. Photograph dated: 1850.

Adobe structures are ‘natural buildings’ made from a mixture of 50% sand, 35% clay and water, and mixed with 15% of a fibrous or organic material such as sticks, straw and even dung in some cases – which is useful in binding the brick together and allowing the brick to dry evenly. These buildings are extremely durable and account for the oldest structures on earth, some of which are still standing today. Adobe walls usually never rise above two stories because they’re load bearing and have low structural strength. Ideally, the wall should be thick enough to remain cool on the inside during the heat of the day, but thin enough to transfer heat through the wall during the evening. To protect the interior and exterior adobe wall, finishes such as mud plaster, whitewash or stucco can be applied. These finishes protect the adobe wall from water damage but need to be reapplied periodically.”

-Excerpt and images courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library, Security Pacific National Bank Collection, “Artist’s sketch of Juan Domingo adobe residence,” circa 1850

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