History: Lincoln Heights is considered the oldest Los Angeles neighborhood outside of downtown. The area was founded by Dr. John Strother Griffin after he purchased 2,000 acres of ranch land for $1,000 and in 1870, with his nephew, Hancock Johnston, erected houses on the site. Johnston built one of the city’s earliest streetcar lines in 1876 to connect the East Los Angeles suburb with downtown. The area was known as East Los Angeles before 1917 when it was renamed Lincoln Heights. The southern edge of the area was home to rail yards and manufacturing at the turn of the 20th century, attracting mostly immigrant laborers to the modest, one-story homes that were built in the neighborhood.
Over the years the neighborhood has been home to successive waves of immigrants; Italian, Chinese and more recently Mexican and Vietnamese.
Real Estate: Like the rest of LA, home prices have risen over the past 10 years, but you can still find a deal here compared to the nearby neighborhoods. 9 homes sold in the last 3 months; from Lowest, at $410,000 for an 800 square foot fixer, to $775,000 for a 3 bedroom fully renovated Victorian charmer. The median sales price is $619,000. Months supply is at 8.5, making Lincoln Heights one of the few neighborhoods where buyers have more control over the market. There are currently 17 homes for sale in the neighborhood, the highest number in over 4 years.
Architecture: Having been settled in the late 1800s the neighborhood has many Victorian houses, but homes of all types can be found there.
Vibe: Like many of LA’s working-class neighborhoods, Lincoln Heights is changing. Still predominately working-class Latino and Asian families, the 30,000 residents skew younger than most of the City & County of LA with an average age of 27. It is considerably poorer than other areas of Northeast LA with a median household income (2008 dollars) of $30,579, low for the city of Los Angeles and low for the county. With most of the housing close to the major thoroughfares, the neighborhood allows for easy access to transit and has high walk scores.
Community amenities: Lincoln Park in the southeast corner of the neighborhood has an 8-acre, lake, Barbecue Pits, Baseball Diamond, Basketball Courts, Children’s Play Area, Picnic Tables, Soccer Field & Tennis Court as well as a large skateboard park. The park is also home to Plaza de la Raza Cultural Center for the Arts & Education. It is the only multidisciplinary community arts venue dedicated to serving the Eastside neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Founded in 1970 by prominent labor, business, and civic leaders, it offers affordable after-school, intergenerational arts education programs to nearly 5,100 children, teens, and adults each year. The Brewery Arts Complex (also known as the Brewery Art Colony) has been called the largest live-and-work artists’ colony in the world. The 16-acre compound sits on twenty-one former warehouses and includes a former Edison power plant chimney dating to 1903, work studios, living lofts, restaurants, and galleries. More than 100 of the studios are open to the public during the twice-yearly Brewery Art Walk
The main business district runs along North Broadway, which links the neighborhood to Chinatown. North Broadway is lined with modest restaurants, shops, and a supermarket. The strip also has Mural art from the Chicano movement of the 1960s and ’70s.
Schools: There are 7 public schools in Lincoln Heights, Albion Street Elementary scores highest with an API of 811. Other highlights include Gates Street Elementary at 797 and Griffin Avenue Elementary at 746. Abraham Lincoln Senior High scored 693.