Boyle Heights was called Paredon Blanco (White Bluff) when California was part of Mexico. The area is named after Andrew Boyle, an Irishman who purchased 22 acres (8.9 ha) on the bluffs overlooking the Los Angeles River after fighting in the Mexican-American War.
From 1889 through 1909 the city was divided into nine wards. In 1899 a motion was introduced at the Ninth Ward Development Association to use the name Boyle Heights to apply to all the highlands of the Ninth Ward, including Brooklyn Heights, Euclid Heights, and the aforementioned Boyle Heights.
In 2017, some residents were protesting gentrification of their neighborhood by the influx of new businesses.