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Barns Area Restoration and the Rancho Center (2012)

The images below show the results of the restoration project. Please click the images to enlarge the photographs. Slide your mouse to the right or left to make arrows appear. Use the arrows to move forward and backward between images. Internet Explorer users: Be sure to click "Allow Blocked Content"

  • The new Rancho Center viewed from the parking lot
  • Entrance to the Rancho Center
  • Rancho Center Lobby
  • Exhibit Room in the Rancho Center
  • Theater in the Rancho Center
  • The Rancho Room
  • Bookshop/Classroom, view 1
  • Bookshop/Classroom, view 2
  • Dairy Barn
  • Feed Barn
  • Stallion Barn, view 1
  • Stallion Barn, view 2


1948 Barns Layout  

Barns Area Restoration

The barns area restoration is based on the 1948 aerial photo (shown at left) which shows the original location of the surviving five early twentieth-century ranch barns still on site. These include the Stallion Barn, Blacksmith Shop, Cow Barn, a portion of the original Feed Shed and the 1948 Horse Barn which is now part of the new Rancho Center which opened June 10, 2012.  The housing for the Mexican families who worked at the ranch lined the road leading to the barns area. These homes no longer exist, but the road (Palo Verde) is still the way to Rancho Los Alamitos.

Today’s barns area is smaller than during the time of the early 20th century working ranch and only five of the historic barns have survived time.  Over several years, the complicated restoration process included the following work:

Historic Structures: Five historic barns were painstakingly relocated to approximate the functional character and grid of the early 20th-century working ranch. Each was restored and repainted based on meticulous historic analysis, and brought up to contemporary code for public safety and staff use.

Historic Landscape: Several documented features of the early working ranch landscape were re-introduced and constructed, including the new corrals, duck pond, and rabbit hutches. Re-introduced utility poles and wires suggest the early utilities throughout the barns area, and roadways reflect the working layout of the barn yard and the historic lines of site.  During the early-mid 20th century, numerous trees, cascading vines and a Stallion Barn garden broke up the landscape. Today the semi-arid landscape has been restored, all historic trees and plants protected and new period plants and the Stallion Barn garden have been re-introduced based on the historic evidence.

The Horse Barn: The 1948 Horse Barn is seamlessly integrated into the new Rancho Center. The newly constructed nearby bookstore/classroom reflects the look and approximate location of a historic garage on site.


Wood Repair
Moving the Dairy Barn


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