Forgotten Lincoln Heights tennis courts may swing back into action

Lincoln High tennis courts. Photo courtesy KWS Foundation

It has been about 15 years since anyone has played tennis or any other games on the courts notched into a hillside at Lincoln High School.  The surface is littered with dirt and debris, the tennis court nets and standards are long gone and basketball backboards – installed in later years – have no rims and are marked with with gun shot holes. But, on Saturday, March, 24, a tennis court clean up organized by the Kenny Washington Foundation will attempt to clean up the century-old courts as part of an effort to renovate the athletic fields and courts on the Lincoln Heights campus.

“Currently Lincoln High School has no outdoor basketball courts, no tennis courts, no volleyball courts, and no baseball/softball facilities,” said Stephen Sarinana-Lampson President Kenny Washington Stadium Foundation.  “At the end of the day, there is nothing for current students in P.E. classes at Lincoln High School to do except walk around a non-regulation track or play inside in a girls gym that is seriously antiquated.”

Sarinana-Lampson said Saturday’s clean up, which is open to community volunteers, will involve removing about a ton of dirt, sweeping and cleaning the court surfaces, paint backboards  trim surrounding foliage and painting the basketball backboards and perhaps install a rim or two. In addition to supporting the school’s athletic facilities, restoring the tennis courts would also improve a piece of the school’s history.

“These courts date back to the original school and were created with funds completely generated by the students at Twenty-First Avenue Intermediate School before the new Lincoln High School was opened on September 15, 1913,” said Sarinana-Lampson.  ” They are truly a part of our school’s historical legacy.”

Principal  Jose F. Torres said there is plenty of interest in rebuilding the courts but money is tight.  “At this time the District is awaiting for funding so that these facilities can be renovated or build new ones,” Torres said.

The Courts at Lincoln High Clean-up
Saturday, March 24, 2012
8 am – 2 pm Site Clean-up
10 am Introduction of Special Guests and Site History
Lunch and refreshments provided.


  1. Sorry, kids. We spent all that Prop K money on pointless architectural statements and half-filled schools. Maybe next bond measure…

    What a disgrace.

  2. Poor Lincoln High, and I mean that. In the old Northern League Lincoln was always known as oldest, poorest and most cramped. Their track was I believe the smallest in entire LAUSD, 320 yards. Standard, for those who don’t know track, used to be 440 yards. The two mile race seemed to take forever as runners had a lot more laps.

    Weird, Lincoln was more like an inner city school though my school, Belmont, was truly in the inner city. Lincoln was also known as a dangerous place to visit. We used restrooms in groups after teammates got jumped, buses were ‘rocked’ by thrown rocks, it could been a trial parking on neighboring streets then walking back after games.

    Marshall’s football field’s corners lapped over onto their track, so corners of end zones were in running lanes. They draped gym mats on the concrete borders as cushions.

  3. All politics and b.s. from LAUSD aside, I will make an effort to show up and help clean these courts tomorrow. I live right next to Lincoln, and it is depressing having to look at debris strewn streets, neglected and destroyed public spaces, and a city government so inept that it actively makes things worse with its road planning.

    In the 21st century, the broom is mightier than the budget.

  4. Lincoln Heights Resident

    We encourage for folks of Lincoln Heights and Alumni to come & participate & to give back to the community for this much needed Project!!

  5. convert them into futsal courts this new generation of kids are really into soccer especially here in LA they need a place to play. Streetsblog talks about this on one of their entries. futsal provides a place to play without having to install turf all you need is makings and goals at each end.

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