Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles

Lincoln Heights is one the oldest neighborhoods in Los Angeles, California. It is a densely populated, youthful area that has a high percentage of Latino, Asian, and Pacific Islander residents. It includes several historic or notable landmarks.

Lincoln Heights

East Los Angeles
View of Lincoln Heights and Downtown Los Angeles from the hills
Boundaries of Lincoln Heights as drawn by the Los Angeles Times
Lincoln Heights
Location within Central Los Angeles
Coordinates: 34.073597°N 118.209627°W / 34.073597; -118.209627
CountryUnited States
CountyLos Angeles
CityLos Angeles
Time zoneUTC-8 (PST)
  Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)323, 213, etc

Geography and transportation

Lincoln Heights is bounded by the Los Angeles River on the west, the San Bernardino Freeway (I-10) on the south, and Indiana Street on the east; the district's Eastern border is unclear due to the area's uneven terrain. Adjacent communities include El Sereno on the east, City Terrace on the southeast, Boyle Heights on the south, Chinatown and Solano Canyon on the west, Cypress Park on the northwest, Mt. Washington on the north, and Montecito Heights on the northeast. Major thoroughfares include Valley Boulevard; Mission Road; Pasadena Avenue; North Main, Marengo, Daly, and Figueroa Streets; and North Broadway. The Golden State Freeway (I-5) runs through the district, and the Metro Gold Line has a station in the far northwestern portion of the district.


Lincoln Heights is considered to be one of the oldest neighborhoods outside of Downtown Los Angeles proper, dating to the 1870s and found within the original Spanish four leagues pueblo of Los Angeles land grant. Perched on bluffs overlooking the Los Angeles River, it was the home to some of the city's most notable residents, who built numerous Victorian mansions, many of which have been preserved under the city's historic preservation program.[1] Historically, the neighborhood was known as "East Los Angeles" when it was home to the commanding general of the Confederate States Army, Albert Sidney Johnston, predecessor of Robert E. Lee. His brother-in-law, Dr. John Strother Griffin, also called the suburb home. Johnston Street, Griffin Avenue, and Hancock Street are named after their family. The neighborhood's original name was East Los Angeles, but in 1917 residents voted to change the name to Lincoln Heights.

Thereafter, what would be known as North Broadway became a crowded commercial thoroughfare, and by the turn of the 20th century, unfettered industrial construction within the once scenic floodplain made it less appealing for Angelenos of means, who moved out first to the Arroyo Seco area and Hollywood, then (from the 1920s onward) to rapidly developing Mid-Wilshire. As wealthy residents departed, Lincoln Heights became home to a large Italian American population, as well as some Irish American and French American (the 1850s era immigration) residents by the 1930s, also a wave of poor white American residents known as "Okies" from the Great Plains moved into the area. With an increasingly large Mexican American population, Lincoln Heights became a "barrio" by the 1960s. It and its cross-river neighbor "Little Italy" (what is now Chinatown) formed the heart of southern California's Italian-American community. One of the major landmarks from this period, the San Antonio Winery, continues to operate.

In the 21st century, Lincoln Heights is no longer widely considered a "barrio", due to the on-going changes being brought by gentrification. The neighborhood has slowly been gentrifying due to the Northeast Los Angeles housing price escalation of 2013 and 2014.[2][3]


The 2000 U.S. census counted 26,616 residents in the 2.51-square-mile Lincoln Heights neighborhood—or 10,602 people per square mile, an average population density for the city. In 2008, the city estimated that the population had increased to 29,637. In 2000 the median age for residents was 27, considered young for city and county neighborhoods. The percentages of residents aged 10 through 18 were among the county's highest.[4]

The neighborhood was considered "not especially diverse" ethnically within Los Angeles, with a relatively high percentage of both Asian and Latino people. The breakdown was Latinos, 70.7%; Asians, 25.2%; whites, 2.7%; blacks, 0.4%; and others, 1.0%. Mexico (57.0%) and Vietnam (16.9%) were the most common places of birth for the 55.8% of the residents who were born abroad—which was a high percentage for Los Angeles.[4]

The median yearly household income in 2008 dollars was $30,579, considered low for the city. Renters occupied 75.9% of the housing stock, and house- or apartment-owners held 24.1%. The average household size of 3.6 people was considered high for Los Angeles.[4]

The percentages of never-married men (53.0%) and women (40.6%) were among the county's highest. The 19.5% of families headed by single parents was considered about average for city neighborhoods. There were 500 veterans, or 2.8% of the population, a low proportion compared to the rest of the city.[4]

Government and infrastructure

Los Angeles Fire Department Fire Station 1[5] is located in the Lincoln Heights area. The station is in the Battalion 2 district.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health operates the Central Health Center in Downtown Los Angeles, serving the Lincoln Heights.[6]


Just 5.5% of Lincoln Heights residents aged 25 and older had earned a four-year degree by 2000, a low percentage for the city.[4]




  • Abraham Lincoln High School, 3501 North Broadway
  • Academy of Environmental & Social Policy (ESP) at Roosevelt High, 3501 North Broadway[8]
  • Hillside Elementary School, 120 East Avenue 35
  • Alliance College-Ready Middle Academy No. 5, charter, 2635 Pasadena Avenue
  • Pueblo de Los Angeles Continuation School, 2506 Alta Street
  • Gates Street Elementary School, 3333 Manitou Avenue
  • Albion Street Elementary School, 322 South Avenue 18
  • Griffin Avenue Elementary School, 2025 Griffin Avenue
  • Milagro Charter Elementary School, 1855 North Main Street
  • Leadership in Media and Entertainment (LEMA) - Pilot School, 3501 North Broadway
  • Los Angeles Leadership Academy High School (LALA HS), 234 W Avenue 33
  • Alliance College Ready Middle Academy #5 (ACRMA #5)
  • Alliance Susan & Eric Smidt Technology High School
  • East Los Angeles Skill Center (Adult Education), 3921 Selig Place [9]

PUC Schools operates the Milagro Charter School (K-5) and the Excel Charter Academy (6-8) in Lincoln Heights.[10][11][12]


  • Little Flower Missionary House, elementary, 2434 Gates Street (closed August 31, 2017.
  • Sacred Heart High School, 2111 Griffin Avenue
  • Sacred Heart Elementary School, 2109 Sichel Street

Public libraries

Lincoln Heights Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library is on Workman Street.

Landmarks (present and former)

Notable residents/movies/authors

  • Arthur K. Snyder, Los Angeles City Council member, 1967–85, born in Lincoln Heights, 1932
  • Cesar Chavez, during "No on 22" Campaign in November 1972, temporarily resided in Lincoln Heights at a private residence on corner of Workman and Baldwin Streets while hundreds of farmworkers camped at Lincoln Park.
  • Daniel Lewis James "Danny Santiago" Author of book Famous All Over Town
  • Police (1916)
  • Take a Chance (1918)
  • The Second Hundred Years (1927)
  • Walkout movie
  • Changeling (2008)
  • S.W.A.T.
  • Lacy Street Studios:
  • Cagney and Lacey
  • TV Series
  • Alien Nation
  • Scream Play
  • Mafiosa
  • East Los High (Hulu series)
  • Father Dowling Mysteries
  • Shameless

See also


  1. Garner, Scott (2019-01-25). "Neighborhood Spotlight: Lincoln Heights was L.A.'s first suburb". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2019-07-27.
  2. Masters, Nathan (2011-11-10). "Who Moved East L.A.?". KCET. Retrieved 2011-11-18.
  3. Winton, Richard (2019-07-27). "LAPD officer out with girlfriend fatally shot at taco stand in Lincoln Heights". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2019-07-27.
  4. "Lincoln Heights," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
  5. "Los Angeles Fire Department — Fire Station 1". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13.
  6. "Los Angeles Department of Public Health — Community Health Services".
  7. "Schools: Lincoln Heights," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
  8. ESP Roosevelt
  9. East Los Angeles Service Area (ELASC) Archived 2014-11-09 at the Wayback Machine
  10. "Milagro Charter School Archived 2011-12-06 at the Wayback Machine." PUC Schools. Retrieved on November 27, 2011.
  11. "Excel Charter Academy Archived 2008-05-15 at the Wayback Machine." PUC Schools. Retrieved on November 27, 2011. "Excel Charter Academy 1855 North Main Street Los Angeles, CA 90031-3227"
  12. "Contact School Milagro Charter School Archived 2008-05-15 at the Wayback Machine." PUC Schools. Retrieved on November 27, 2011. "Milagro Charter School 1855 North Main Street Los Angeles, CA 90031-3227"
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