Rancho Los Cerritos

4600 Virginia Road, Long Beach, CA

Rancho Los Cerritos is a municipally-funded museum in the City of Long Beach and includes a circa 1884 two-story adobe Monterey-style ranch house that was remodeled in the 1930s. The 19th-century domestic adobe has the characteristic blend of Mexican and American architecture and is the most significant structure built on the “Los Cerritos” portion of a 1790 Spanish Land Grant given to Manuel Nieto.

Jotham Bixby ran Los Cerritos as a sheep ranch from 1866 to 1881. The ranch lands were then subdivided and sold, creating Long Beach and other cities. Renovated in 1930 by Llewellyn Bixby, Jr., the Rancho underwent extensive modifications reflecting the existing conditions of today. In 1956, the City of Long Beach purchased the rancho and opened it as a public museum dedicated to the early ranching period in California.

Heritage has been involved with the site since 1991 initially completing a Conservation Assessment Program for the museum. In September 1997, the Rancho Los Cerritos Foundation contracted with Heritage to prepare a comprehensive Master Plan for the Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site. The plan was designed to serve as a guide for:

  • Site development and interpretation for sections on structural and landscape restoration
  • Maintenance
  • Educational programming
  • Visitor amenities
  • Staff and collections needs.

Heritage completed the seismic retrofit for the main adobe structure as part of Phase I of the Master Plan. For Phase II, Heritage completed construction documents for the reconstruction of the Cota Adobe, part of the Visitors Center and landscape improvements. Heritage more recently completed construction documents and observation services for the Caretaker’s Cottage.

  • Rancho Los Cerritos Foundation
    • Conservation Assessment
    • Seismic Retrofit
    • Construction Documents
    • Master Plan
    • Construction Observation
    • Journal Publication
    • Interpretive Program
    • Public Meetings
  • 2018
    • ♢Long Beach Heritage Preservation Award (Reconstruction)
    • ♢Long Beach Heritage Preservation Award
    • ♢Long Beach Heritage Merit Award (Master Plan)
    • ♢California Preservation Foundation Design Award