LA council to consider motion on future of iconic Olvera Street burro stand

Anabel Munoz Image
Friday, May 17, 2024
LA council to consider motion on future of iconic Olvera Street burro
There is a new push to help save one of Olvera Street's oldest tenants. "La Carreta" is facing eviction after the owner passed away. Founded in the late 1960s, the iconic donkey stand is a popular tourists attraction for photos.

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Richard Hernandez, who has operated the iconic donkey stand on Olvera Street for decades, has faced a challenging time.

His mother suddenly passed away and now their family business faces an uncertain future. "I'm not fully well," said Hernandez. "I know I smile sometimes, but it's just really hard."

There was a show of support to "save the burro" or "save the donkey" Thursday as Hernandez faces an order to vacate. At issue is that his name was not added to the lease agreement before his mother passed away.

"Today was supposed to be my last day," said Hernandez.

"La Carreta" or the carriage and donkey where many locals and tourists have had their picture taken over the years, was established in the late 1960s by Hernandez's parents. He buried his mother, Maria Trancito Hernandez one week ago, the same day the commission that oversees the property was set to discuss the matter. The president said it would be delayed to May 23 out of respect for the grieving family, but Hernandez was later notified he must vacate by May 16.

"Getting rid of this place would mean too much. It would hurt too many people," Maximillian Hernandez, Richard Hernandez's son.

One of Olvera Street's oldest tenants is a donkey stand known as "El Burrito y La Carreta," which is now facing eviction.

Hernandez's mother filed paperwork in 2019 to have her son added to the contract, but the property general manager told Eyewitness News he was first put on a one-year probationary period. Hernandez said his mother followed up in person but the manager has not clarified what happened since 2019.

"There was a real, heartfelt attempt to modify the lease," said Councilmember Kevin De León. "And they didn't move forward with it," he said.

De León said he's introducing a motion Friday to help Hernandez extend the lease.

"We haven't negotiated all the details as of yet. So, I can't give you those details. But I think it's quite frankly silly that the donkey is being evicted from Placita Olvera," said De León.