Venice History Book: History of Venice of America
Venice History Book
Book 1 Vol 1: The Venice Canals: 1850 - 1939
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Chapter 1 Pages:
Chapter 2 Pages:
Chapter 4 Pages:40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55
Chapter 5 Pages:55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66
Book 2 Vol 2: Annexation and Secession Movements:
Venice, CA & Abbot Kinney
Venice California has a colorful history. Its founder, Abbot Kinney, named it Venice of America in 1907 because the canals he built to drain part of the Ballona wetlands (on which he built his real estate project) reminded him of Venice Italy whose urbane persona he wanted to evoke. Originally called Ocean Park, the canals were dug out of the northern section of the Ballona wetlands and marsh between 1904 and 1905. Kinney purchased gondolas and hired Italian gondoliers to highlight his beach resort as a tourist attraction. He also built a pier for popular amusements, a bathhouse for salt water bathing, and organized and hosted a celebrated Chautauqua (called the Venice Assembly) featuring high brow but at the same time popular lectures and exhibits.
The Venice of America canals (Grand, Lion, Cabrillo, Venus, Coral, Aldebaran, and Altair) were filled with earth and became streets in 1929-30, after the voters of a heretofore independent City of Venice voted to self destruct and consolidated politically with Los Angeles City in 1925. The Venice canals which exist today and run perpendicular to the Pacific Ocean and bear the names Linnie, Carroll, Howland, and Sherman were not built by Kinney but by the Short Line Beach Company between 1905 & 1907.
Soon after Venetian voters decided to commit political ‘hari-kari’ they came to regret it. Venice amusements were closed down, prohibition was enforced, oil was discovered and the beach adjacent areas were messed with oil. Always a vibrant and exciting political community, oppositional politics in Venice picked up after consolidation with
Venice artists such as Ed Moses, Ed Ruscha, Charles Arnoldi, and Robert Graham are internationally renowned. Director/Actor /Artist Dennis Hopper resided in Venice for many years. Musicians like The Doors and the Red Hot Chili Peppers and many other rock bands got their start in Venice. Venice of today is know for its surfing culture and as the birthplace of skateboarding which was celebrated in the documentaries “Dogtown and Z-Boys” and “The Lords of Dogtown”. Venice is today the largest tourist attraction in Southern California.
Vol. 1: History of the Venice Canals 1850 - 1939
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