The Old Mill, or El Molino Viejo, was completed in 1816 as a grist mill for Mission San Gabriel. The original tile-roofed two-story structure is the oldest commercial building in Southern California. Of architectural interest, the lower walls are five feet thick and made of oven-baked bricks and volcanic tuff, while the upper level is composed of layers of sun-dried adobe slabs. The entire surface of the building is covered with mortar made from lime that was derived from burnt seashells and the building is buttressed on three corners. These reinforcements were necessary to protect against earthquakes and the vibration of the machinery. On the site, you'll also find antique paintings and furniture as well as a small historical display featuring an operating model of the mill in its early days. A well-maintained garden displays native California trees and plants. The Pomegranate Patio in the garden hosts concerts by the California Philharmonic Chamber during the summer and civic and educational events in the spring and summer.
1120 Old Mill Rd.
San Marino, CA 91108
Open 1 to 4 p.m. daily Tuesday through Sunday.
Closed Mondays and holidays.
Admission: No charge.