East Los Angeles (region)
East Los Angeles (also referred to by much of the community as the Eastside) is the portion of the City of Los Angeles that lies east of Downtown Los Angeles and the Los Angeles River, west of the San Gabriel Valley, East Los Angeles and City Terrace, south of Cypress Park, and north of Vernon, California and the City of Commerce.
The short form for the region, "East L.A.," and the "Eastside" are imprecise terms which can have different meanings depending on usage and context. As a geographical term, it can refer to either the region described here or the unincorporated community of East Los Angeles. As a cultural term, "East L.A." has developed to refer to the predominantly Hispanic of Mexican descent communities lying east of the City of Los Angeles, centered around the unincorporated areas of East Los Angeles and City Terrace and the Los Angeles district of Boyle Heights. To distinguish this area from the broader eastern area of the City of Los Angeles, a collection of neighborhoods and communities lying within Los Angeles city boundaries, and to emphasize the differences in character between the two areas, locals have come to use the term "Eastside" (on the example of "the Westside") for the area within the city boundaries.
Built environment 
In appearance, while northern East Los Angeles may vary in character, much of East Los Angeles is a throwback to Los Angeles' early 20th century heritage. The dusty streets up and down the Monterey Hills, on which much of the region sits, are often winding and narrow. On primary and secondary thoroughfares, at times busy industrial concerns and/or shops sit side-by-side with single-family residences, in contrast to heavily zoned areas like parts of the San Fernando Valley and the Westside, where it is less common. In some areas backyard agriculture is still widely practiced, as was colorfully depicted in the films My Family (also called Mi Familia) and Stand and Deliver (which was set in an East L.A. high school representing James A. Garfield High School). Of these, many families maintained chicken coops and citrus groves in their backyards long after most of Los Angeles had abandoned these vestiges of its rural past. In some areas, however, this is less common or non-existent, such as Montecito Heights and Mt. Washington, among others.
East Los Angeles was founded in 1870 by John Strother Griffin (1816–1898), who was called "the father of East Los Angeles." He was said to have created the first suburb of the city of Los Angeles in Lincoln Heights after he purchased 2,000 acres of ranch land for $1,000 and in 1870, with his nephew, Hancock Johnson, erected houses on the site. That land was a rancho called La Rosa de Castilla, on the east side of the Los Angeles River, taking in the deserted hills between Los Angeles and Pasadena. In late 1874 the two men offered an additional thirty-five acres, divided into 65x165-foot lots, for $150 each. They planned the laying out of streets of the present community of East Los Angeles and gifted East Side Park (the present Lincoln Park) to the city of Los Angeles.
Large-scale development commenced with the arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1875, with numerous electric streetcar lines being laid over the following three decades to connect the area to fast-growing Downtown Los Angeles. Areas along the Arroyo Seco such as Montecito Heights and Mt. Washington were once among the wealthiest neighborhoods in the region, their winding streets lined with finely detailed Mediterranean villas and Craftsman frame houses and bungalows that enjoy some of the finest views in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Spanish Colonial bungalows and duplexes sprouted like mushrooms in working-class areas such as El Sereno and City Terrace.
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The East Los Angeles region has long had a very high concentration of Hispanic residents, primarily of Mexican descent. Since the early 20th century, it has been the focus of the Hispanic population in Los Angeles County.
This was not always the case: areas of northeastern Los Angeles had heavy Anglo populations until the 1930s, when the development of whites-only areas in Mid-Wilshire and the West Side drew away most of the area's Anglo population. In the southern portions of the region, there were also large and diverse non-Hispanic populations: The Highland Park, Arroyo Seco and El Sereno sections facing South Pasadena was known for a large Black community, as there are many African Americans including the former "Calle de Los Negroes" or the Chinese quarter; Boyle Heights was heavily Armenian, Serbian, Jewish, Portuguese and Japanese; Lincoln Heights was heavily Italian; and finally the 1930s-era Okies colony of Mount Washington and Monte Sereno where many poor white farmers and American Indians settled, it is also where the Southwest Museum of the American Indian  is located in the neighborhood where thousands of Native Americans were resettled by the BIA Urban Indians relocation program in the 1950s.
In the early 1900s, the original "East Side" of Central Los Angeles was along Alameda Street, bordered by Brooklyn Avenue or Macy Street (Now renamed Cesar Chavez Avenue), Pico and Olympic boulevards and the Los Angeles River or later Indiana Avenue, was sometimes nicknamed Bronzeville in the 1930s and 1940s, due to the mass migration of Mexican Americans, as well Black Americans from the Southeastern U.S. arrived in the Great Depression and World War II mainly settled along Azusa Street and Temple Street (see the Azusa Street Revival) bordered by First and Sixth streets, some Koreans after the Korean War in the 1950s and 1960s, and even the Cherokee Indians from Oklahoma, USA to the section where the El Pueblo de Los Angeles: the Mexican pueblo turned to California state historic site happened to be located.
However, most of these racial, religious (i.e. Jews and Mormons), and ethnic groups moved to segregated suburbs after World War II, and Mexicans who had been forced into squalid slums such as Boyle Heights' infamous "The Flats" (later the site of the infamous Aliso Village housing project) seized the opportunity to move into the region's housing at low prices. With the exception of a small but distinct Filipino population in areas such as Eagle Rock, Glassell Park and Atwater Village, the region was primarily Mexican American by 1950.
The areas surrounding the unincorporated area of East L.A. formed the political and cultural heart of Mexican-American life in Los Angeles County during a period when the overall population of the county was mostly white (non-Hispanic) and often quite hostile to Latinos. Much of the violence of the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943 and the Chicano Moratorium of 1970 occurred in the region. Today East L.A. is populated mostly by immigrants of Mexican descent, and their American children. But the unincorporated community of East Los Angeles, which was 66.8% Mexican-American in the 1970 census, is currently 49.5% Mexican by ethnicity and 25.5% are Mexican-born.
Population shifts 
Many second and third-generation Hispanic or Central Americans have since moved from East Los Angeles to other parts of Southern California. This movement began soon after World War II, with middle-class families settling in San Gabriel Valley suburbs such as Baldwin Park and Alhambra. From the 1970s onward, Orange County, the San Fernando Valley, the Inland Empire, and the Gateway Cities region of southeast Los Angeles County have also been major destinations for upwardly mobile Latino families. Meanwhile, recent immigrants from Mexico and Central America have settled in the low-income parts of East Los Angeles where the parents of many U.S.-born Hispanics once lived. At the same time, there are parts of "greater" East L.A., such as the cities of Montebello, Whittier and Pico Rivera, where many U.S.-born Hispanics still live. Since the late 1980s, many Hispanic immigrants have moved into areas that had previously been heavily African American, in areas such as Compton, Lynwood, and South Los Angeles.
Since the late 1990s, gentrification has started to occur in formerly working-class pockets of East Los Angeles, and middle-class pockets in the northwest of the region, although mainly in the region's northern portions. Eagle Rock has seen a considerable influx of middle class white and Filipino residents drawn by the area's architecture and schools, the latter of which are some of the best in the Los Angeles Unified School District. High housing prices in other parts of Los Angeles are leading whites to settle in pockets of northeastern Los Angeles such as Glassell Park, Atwater Village, and Highland Park, as well as Montecito Heights, Mt. Washington, and Elysian Valley, as an affordable alternative to Silver Lake.
Communities of East Los Angeles 
- Bell Gardens
- City Terrace
- City of Commerce
- East Los Angeles
- La Puente
- Monterey Park
- Pico Rivera
- California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) - University Hills
- Occidental College (Oxy) - Eagle Rock
- Latino Walk of Fame - East L.A.
- Mariachi Plaza - Boyle Heights
- El Mercado de Los Angeles - Boyle Heights
- Calvary Cemetery (Roman Catholic) - East L.A.
- Home of Peace Cemetery (Jewish) - East L.A.
- Evergreen Cemetery - Boyle Heights
- Chinese Cemetery of Los Angeles - East L.A.
- El Alisal
- Estrada Courts Murals - Boyle Heights
- Heritage Square - Montecito Heights & Lincoln Park
- Plaza de la Raza - Lincoln Heights
- Southwest Museum - Mt. Washington
- Sanchez Adobe - Montebello
- El Pino (The Pine Tree) - East L.A.
- East Los Angeles Skill Center - Lincoln Heights
Notable natives and residents 
- Narciso Botello (about 1813–1889) Mexican Army officer and California State Assembly member
- Howard W. Davis, politics
- Howard E. Dorsey, hydraulic engineering, politics
- Jaime Escalante, education
- Kid Frost, rap
- John Strother Griffin (1816–1898), surgeon, founder of East Los Angeles and a member of the Los Angeles Common Council
- Carlos Mencia, comedy
- Oscar de la Hoya, boxing
- Hope Sandoval, singer-songwriter
- Allison Iraheta, music
- Constance Marie, acting
- Sergio Mora, boxing
- Edward James Olmos, acting
- Anthony Quinn, acting
- Ricky Romero, baseball
- Antonio Villaraigosa, politics
- will.i.am (William James Adams, Jr.), music
See also 
- Born in East L.A., motion picture
- Chicano, ethnic term
- East LA Classic, football game
- Blood In Blood Out, motion picture
- City Times in Los Angeles Times suburban sections
- Zoot Suit Riots, 1943
- H.D. Barrows, "Memorial Sketch of Dr. John S. Griffin," Annual Publication of the Historical Society of Southern California and Pioneer Register, Los Angeles, Volume 4, Number 2, 1898
- "Street Name," EastLosAngeles.net
- "Founder of Cities," Los Angeles Times, August 24, 1898, page 1
- "Griffin, John S. (John Strother), 1816–1898," Social Networks and Archival Context Project
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