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Los Angeles is a 231-year-old Virgo, maybe


The city of Los Angeles celebrates its 231st birthday on September 4 -- the commonly accepted anniversary of the 1781 founding of El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles.

What lies ahead for the Virgo city? Susan Miller, astrologist to the stars (get it?), offers prophetic words on her wistful website:

It is high time you put yourself first, dear Virgo. September is birthday time, the perfect month to consider your year ahead. You've come though some very tough years, but those are soon to end, and what lies ahead is a very different, more positive future. This month, as the Sun moves through your birth sign, you are the Sun's favorite - an ideal time to think about whether you've outgrown some dreams and would like to replace some with one or two new ones.

Take the suggestions with a grain of quinoa, however. Horoscopes are likely lumped into the same suspended disbelief category as the lore of Los Angeles itself.

KCET previously reported that the city's origin story -- in which Pobladores marched from Mission San Gabriel Arcángel to Olvera Street where Governor Felipe de Neve held a grand celebration in honor of the town's founding -- is likely a work of fiction, noting, "the traditional narrative has proven to be more myth than fact."

In recent decades, scholars have turned to journals, correspondence, maps, official records, and other carefully preserved eighteenth-century documents to piece together the actual story of the agricultural settlement's founding...[T]he original pobladores arrived separately at Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, some settled the townsite as early as June 1781, and September 4 was likely an arbitrary date that Neve used in his report to his superiors—one that was marked with little pomp and circumstance.

As a birthday present, the L.A. Times decided to determine the city's oldest building. 

The answer — the possible answer, anyway — is surprising. The oldest building just may be a somewhat down-at-the-heels, nondescript, asphalt-shrouded place in the Baldwin Hills, until recently the site of raucous late-night parties and complaints from neighbors in adjacent upscale homes and towering condos.