Structure Type: landscapes - gardens - garden structures - pavilions

Designers: [unspecified]

Dates: constructed 1878, demolished 1882

2 stories


This notable, large, agricultural pavilion hosted four economic fairs between 1878 and 1882. These expositions focused on agricultural products produced in Southern California, but also featured manufactured items, as well. The pavilion was demolished due to default on its mortgage by the society in 1882.

Building History

During the last quarter of the nineteenth century, agricultural products became the prime export of the California economy. To showcase the new fruits, flowers and vegetables being developed and raised in the region, the Southern Calfiornia Horticultural Society (SCHS) boldly decided to build this capacious exhibition building in the mid-1870s. It was completed in time for a large agricultural exposition in 10/1878 at a cost of about $30,000.

Historian Paul R. Spitzzeri said of this first exposition: “Fundraising for the $30,000 needed to build the pavilion, however, proved tough to fulfill, but by taking out a mortgage…the building was completed in time for the Society’s first independently produced fair in October 1878. Exhibits and prizes were handed out for a wife range of products, including displays of fruit, agricultural products (including wine) and flowers, but also for agricultural implements; textiles and clothing; carriages and other vehicles, manufactured leather and metal; musical instruments and furnishings; chemicals; fossils; brick and stone work; fine arts of all kinds and more.” (See Paul R. Spitzzeri, “The Homestead Blog: The Southern California Horticultural Society Pavilion, 1878-1882,” published 05/09/2018, accessed 06/29/2020.) While built primarily to highlight Southern California agricultural products, the SCHS Pavilion also served as a more broad-based exhibit hall showing off a cross-section of agricultural and industrial goods. As such, it served to promote an array of early Los Angeles's economic output.


Despite efforts to raise money to pay off its mortgage, creditors of the Southern California Horticultural Society's Pavilion demolished it beginning in 03/1882. Wood from the building was salvaged and used to build residences in the neighborhood. Demolition was largely complete by 05/1882.

PCAD id: 23506