Brooklyn Tire

In the 1870s, a thoroughfare running through the Boyle Heights neighborhood east of the Los Angeles River was named Brooklyn Avenue, in a nod to New Yorkers who were already in Southern California or who might arrive. The name stuck as Boyle Heights grew into one of the more racially and ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the state. By the Great Depression, for example, Boyle Heights was a center of Jewish life in the region and home to the largest concentration of Jewish Americans west of Chicago. In 1994, Brooklyn Avenue was renamed Cesar Chavez Avenue, in honor of the famed civil rights leader and in recognition of the expansion of the neighborhood’s Latino populations. Brooklyn Avenue yet exists, if in the business names and signage calling up an earlier era. Photograph by Jesse White.