The city has begun a $150,000 construction project that will add to the historic Rancho Los Cerritos Museum a visitor orientation center and a fountain in a Mexican-style courtyard.
The project, scheduled for completion by mid-December, also includes new public restrooms, more fencing for improved security and reconstruction of walkways to make them more accessible to visitors in wheelchairs.
When construction is complete, visitors will enter the museum through the new orientation center, and the courtyard will be available to community groups to rent, a city spokeswoman said.
The rancho, at 4600 Virginia Road, is an 1844 Monterey Colonial-style adobe built by Yankee merchant Jonathan Temple. It was once the headquarters for a 27,000-acre cattle ranch. The house is furnished in a Victorian fashion as it would have been when the Jotham Bixby family operated the ranch in the 1870s.
The center will remain open to the public at no charge from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday during construction.