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Colorful Tales from Boyle Heights’ East First Street

In the late 1880s, the Los Angeles Cable Railway built the East First Street viaduct over the Los Angeles River to extend cable car service to the eastern limits of a young City of Los Angeles. The new transportation option brought families seeking reprieve from an increasingly crowded downtown east of the LA River where they built one of the earliest suburbs of the city, Boyle Heights. From the largest Jewish community west of Chicago in the 1900s to the birth of Chicano art movement to a beloved mariachi music epicenter, the multi-ethnic neighborhood would become LA’s gateway community for people from all over the world. Today, Metro’s Gold Line uses East First Street, or East “Primera” Street, to connect the now mostly Latino and Chicano Boyle Heights to the rest of the region. Join us as we explore how transportation helped catalyze this Boyle Heights main street’s dynamic history.


Karina Macias, Transportation Planning Associate II, Transportation Planning & Policy, Los Angeles DOT


Greg Angelo, Joint Development Division, LA Metro
Olga Arroyo, Community Construction Relations, LA Metro
Kevin Ocubillo, Office of Councilmember Jose Huizar, 14th City Council District