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The Trolley Took Us There 09.17.10 Park(ing) Day Edition

September 17, 2010

“Lincoln Park” Destination Plate from a Los Angeles Railway’s 10 Line. Photo via The Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection.

In 1874 the City of Los Angeles purchased the 46 acres that would first be known as East Los Angeles Park, then Eastlake Park, eventually to be named Lincoln Park in 1917. The park, Luna Park Zoo, Selig movie studios, ostrich and alligator farms were very popular destinations for Angelenos at the time. A person could choose not one, but two Los Angeles Railway lines to take to Lincoln Park. The “10” Line, and the “O” Line both made Lincoln Park their destination. Easy mass transit made it possible for thousands to visit the park every week, without the need for massive parking lots.

Los Angeles Transit Line Streetcars at the intersection of Lincoln Park and Mission Road. Photo by Robert McVay, via the Joe Testagrose collection

No massive parking lots, meant more open space to do “Park” activities instead of using it for parking. The problem with car parking at Lincoln Park was never more evident than earlier this year when blogger, Ubrayj02 began his Campaign for a Car-free Lincoln Park.

Corner of Lincoln Park and Mission. Photo via ubrayj02’s photostream.

In November 2008, UbrayJ started documenting the decline of public park space into public parking spaces. The problem was essentially that no one seemed to care enough to notice dozens of cars were parking on lawns where they weren’t supposed to be parked. That was until UbrayJ began his campaign.

Lawn parking at Lincoln Park in 2008. Photo via ubrayj02’s photostream.

Good news, the campaign worked! Today the park is getting more of  the respect and attention it deserves, and the cars parking on it are getting the boot. The irrigation system is being repaired and new signage that Councilman Reyes ordered, now informs drivers that only authorized vehicles are allowed.

Entrance to Lincoln Park that cars were using to park on the lawn has now been closed. Photo taken by Photo by ubrayj02 in August.

And why do I bring this up today? Well it just so happen that today, September 17th is Park(ing) Day L.A.!  A day where we turn typical car parking spaces into miniature temporary parks. Rather than the other way around as the case with Lincoln Park being turned into a parking lot. (Now if we could just get those trolleys and the other fantastic attractions back there.)

For more pictures of trolleys and Lincoln Park, check out the most excellent local history website:

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Matt Marchand permalink
    September 21, 2010 3:57 pm

    Really like your site. My company published a calendar titled “Angel City Trolley” some time ago that features photographs of our sadly missed trolley and streetcar system. We produced it with the help of the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, CA. I happened to come across a copy (still in the wrapper) that was kicking around the office. Let me know if you would like it.



  2. September 25, 2010 9:58 pm

    Jonathan McVay, former ER resident, showed up to the ERVHS over the summer. His family owned home north of Hill Drive… where the freeway is now. Robert must be his father… or is it coincidence with the lastname?

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