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EXTRA : Some of Oldest Artifacts Suffer Damage at Museum

October 01, 1987

Some of Los Angeles' oldest things were damaged by the quake.

Extensive damage was reported to exhibits at the Dominguez Rancho Adobe, which is a museum about the early Spanish land grant pioneers. The museum is located just south of the Artesia Freeway on Alameda Street near Carson.

"We got more damage than in the Sylmar earthquake," said Father Pat McPolin, C.M.F., curator of the museum.

The original building, which was constructed in 1826 by the Dominguez family and buttressed after a quake in 1933, withstood the shock without damage, McPolin said.

"Thank the good Lord, yes," he said.

"We were just going to have breakfast," McPolin said. "Three of us were heading out of the kitchen for the dining room. The water cooler flopped right over and there we were, waddling in water and the building shaken."

A quick inspection revealed that many plates, statues and pictures--many of them more than 100 years old--had been damaged, he said.

"A beautiful carved crucifix from Spain, three feet tall, that was in the chapel of the adobe home, that toppled and is in pieces," McPolin said. "It is about 125 years."

The quake also cracked a section of the building that added on in 1907 and cracked three or four concrete columns in the adjacent seminary chapel.

McPolin said that the museum would be closed for about two weeks. He did not have an estimate of damage.

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