of Lincoln Park
Los Angeles Park
Eastlake Park (East Lake Park)
Park has long been the recreational center of East Los Angeles.
From humble beginnings,
City Council created the Department of Parks in 1889. At that time the
city owned several pieces of land that were believed suitable for park
purposes. They turned over these properties to the newly organized Department
of Parks. In a generous mood during Christmas of 1896, Colonel Griffith
J. Griffith offered to donate five square miles of the Los Feliz Rancho
to the City as a park. He said, "it must be made a place of recreation
and rest for the masses, a resort for the rank and file, for the plain
people..." What followed was the development of several more parks including
the original pueblo lands of the old plaza, Elysian Park, Pershing Square,
and later Lincoln Park, MacArthur Park, Echo Lake Park, and Hollenbeck
While these parks
were available in the early years of the 20th century, there were no planned
and supervised recreation activities in the parks. Children were forced
to find their play on public streets and vacant lots that were hardly suited
for organized games. These conditions triggered a civic movement to officially
establish a Playground Commission and Department. Their plan was "for the
prevention and control of juvenile delinquency and to provide wholesome
and constructive play and recreation for youth, in supervised playgrounds,
as an alternative to play in the city streets."
Today, the City's
Department of Recreation and Parks manages all municipally owned and operated
recreation and parks facilities within the City and has been the human
face of the City of Los Angeles. Rooted in the goals of our predecessors,
we continue to bring people together to celebrate, to compete, to learn
new skills, and to relax with family and friends.
of Recreation and Parks www.laparks.org)
The Founder of Lincoln Park is
Levi Newton Breed a member of the City Council 1886-1889.
single plaque on the Breed memorial reads;
"SO LONG AS THERE SHALL BE A CITY OF
ITS PEOPLE WILL HERE ENJOY PRICELESS
BENEFITS OF LIGHT AND AIR AND BEAUTY"
A HERITAGE FROM THIS MAN
In 1863 Dr.
J.S. Griffin, the Los Angeles city health officer (and county coroner
1862-1865) during a smallpox outbreak, is offered city land at greatly
reduced prices instead of money for his services. He was to be paid $3,000
and since the city was unable to pay him he was offered 2,000 acres of
land for fifty cents an acre. This land would later become known as East
Los Angeles and even later as Lincoln
Part of this land
was purchased by the city in 1874 and was subsequently transferred to the
Southern Pacific Railroad Company in return for establishment of railroad
shops in East Los Angeles. When the Southern Pacific failed to build the
promised shops the city purchased this tract of land and dedicated it for
park purposes in 1881. The city then laid out a park, initially called
East Los Angeles Park and then Eastlake Park in 1901, which quickly became
a major amusement center for the people of Los Angeles. One of its main
attractions was the area's first zoological display. In 1917, the City
Council responded to a petition from nearby residents and renamed it Lincoln
Park after a local high school and as a driving force for this community.
Bordering the north
edge of the Park, Selig Place was named after William Selig, who in 1911
opened a zoo and constructed a movie studio. A carousel opened in 1914,
attracting up to 150,000 riders a year at a nickel a ride. However, the
carousel was gutted by fire several months after it was designated Historic
Cultural Monument No. 153 by the City of Los Angeles.
The park's first
sculpture, Lincoln the Lawyer was dedicated on July 4th, 1926. Nearly 1000
spectators attended the unveiling.
This was followed
in 1937 by Florence Nightingale, commissioned by the Works Progress administration
as part of the New Deal.
Checkout my YouTube of Flo!
See more sculptures
next to Lincoln Park at El
Parque de Mexico.
Odds and Ends:
May 19, 1917;
Park renamed after Lincoln High School.
Was also an arboretum.
It had a large greenhouse (hothouse) with rare and exotic plants.
John D. Rockefeller
presented a rare orchid collection that was housed at the park.