Welcome to San Gabriel
A modern, lively and thriving community, San Gabriel’s history is just as diverse, alive and vibrant as its present. The city is often called the birthplace of the Los Angeles metro area. It was named for the 1771 Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, the fourth of 21 missions founded by Father Junipero Serra. The oldest building in Los Angeles County, it now stands in the heart of the city’s Mission District. In 1911 California poet laureate John Steven McGroarty wrote the legendary “Mission Play,” chronicling the founding of the missions and touting the area’s rich history. The Mission Playhouse it inspired remains a cultural center today. The city boasts a mixture of Asian, European, and North American cultures. Second- and third-generation Chinese Americans patronize a diverse array of stores and eateries, including the 12-acre San Gabriel Square mall, the model for the new ethnoburbs, or urban ethnic communities, currently emerging worldwide.