Venice, taking up zip codes 90291 and 90292, is adjacent to the Pacific Ocean at its most western side. Abbot Kinney won this piece of land in a coin toss with his former business affiliates. After winning, the tobacco harvester decided that he would like to see the “Venice of America” take place on the property
He set to work having tunnels and culverts dug out to mimic the look and feel of Venice. Venice of America was established by 1905 and became a resort off of the coast. Kinney continued his vision throughout the course of his life, but it did not stick after he passed away in 1920. The city was not well-maintained and fell apart as the city grew and could not keep up with the necessary preservation of the site. By 1926, the area was annexed to Los Angeles.
Los Angeles began making improvement after their own community model and paved over the canals and added more roads. They also closed the piers that held amusement attractions that would mirror what we see as Disneyland in today’s time. What was left of the canals became overrun with oil from the 450 oil wells in the area. Sadly, Venice turned into the “Slum by the Sea” because of the poor housing conditions and low-priced rentals.
Venice, however, attracted a variety of subcultures and artists from the Beat generation. To this day, it is a historically artistic site that happens to be near the beach. The district still maintains the Abbot Kinney shopping area, which GQ Magazine named “The coolest block in America.” It also holds the “Ocean Front Walk,” a boardwalk that holds it own strange variety of style.
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