Venice is a neighborhood of the city of Los Angeles within the Westside region of Los Angeles County, California.
Venice was founded by Abbot Kinney in 1905 as a seaside resort town. It was an independent city until 1926, when it merged with Los Angeles. Venice is known for its canals, a beach, and Ocean Front Walk, a two-and-a-half-mile (4 km) pedestrian promenade that features performers, fortune-tellers, and vendors.
Venice Canal Historic District
The Venice Canal Historic District is embedded in the residential Venice suburb of Los Angeles, California. The historic district is noteworthy for possessing man-made wetland canals, built in 1905 by developer Abbot Kinney as part of his Venice of America. Kinney sought to recreate the appearance and feel of Venice, Italy, in coastal Los Angeles County. The names of the canals were given by Abbot Kinney as follows: Aldebaren Canal, Altair Canal, Cabrillo Canal, Coral Canal, Grand Canal, Lion Canal and Venus Canal.
Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Abbott Kinney Boulevard is a principal attraction, with stores, restaurants, bars and art galleries lining the street. The street was described as "a derelict strip of rundown beach cottages and empty brick industrial buildings called West Washington Boulevard," and in the late 1980s community groups and property owners pushed for renaming a portion of the street to honor Abbot Kinney. The renaming was widely considered as a marketing strategy to commercialize the area and bring new high-end businesses to the area.
Venice Farmers Market
Founded in 1987, the farmers market operates every Friday from 7 am to 11 am on Venice Boulevard at Venice Way.
72 Market Street Oyster Bar and Grill
72 Market Street Oyster Bar and Grill was one of several historical footnotes associated with Market Street in Venice, one of the first streets designated for commerce when the city was founded in 1905. During the depression era, Upton Sinclair had an office there when he was running for governor, and the same historic building where the restaurant was located was also the site of the first Ace/Venice Gallery in the early 1970s and, before that, the studio of American installation artist Robert Irwin.
Historic post office
The Venice Post Office, a red-tile-roofed 1939 Works Progress Administration building designed by Louis A. Simon on Windward Circle, featured one of two remaining murals painted in 1941 by Modernist artist Edward Biberman. Developer Abbot Kinney is in the center surrounded by beachgoers in old-fashioned bathing suits, men in overalls, and a wooden roller coaster representing the Venice Pier on one side with contrasting industrial oil derricks that were once ubiquitous in the area on the other side. Senior curator of American Art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Ilene Susan Fort, said this is one of the better New Deal murals both artistically and historically. Although it contains brightly colored elements with amusing details, the intrusion of the ominous oil rigs and wells was very relevant at the time.
After the post office closed in 2012, movie producer Joel Silver unveiled plans to purchase it for 7.5 million and revamp the building as the new headquarters of his company, Silver Pictures. The sale included the stipulation that he, or any future owner, preserve the New Deal-era murals and allow public access. Restoration of the nearly pristine mural took over a year and cost about $100,000. LACMA highlighted the mural with an exhibit that displayed additional Biberman artworks, rare historical documents and Venice ephemera with the restored mural. Silver has a long-term lease on the mural that is still owned by the US Postal Service. In May 2019, according to the Hollywood Reporter, Silver sold the building for 22.5 million to U.K. investor Alex Dellal and his real estate group founded by Jack Dellal (actress Jemima Kirke's grandfather). Status of the planned renovation remains subject to further approvals. The mural's whereabouts are unknown, putting the lessee in violation of the lease agreement's public access requirement.
Venice Beach, which receives millions of visitors a year, has been labeled as "a cultural hub known for its eccentricities" as well as a "global tourist destination". It includes the promenade that runs parallel to the beach (also the "Ocean Front Walk" or just "the boardwalk"), Muscle Beach, and the Venice Beach Recreation Center with handball courts, paddle tennis courts, a Skate Dancing plaza, and numerous beach volleyball courts. It also includes a bike trail and many businesses on Ocean Front Walk.
The basketball courts in Venice are renowned across the country for their high level of streetball; numerous professional basketball players developed their games or have been recruited on these courts.
Venice Beach will host skateboarding and 3x3 basketball during the 2028 Summer Olympics.
Along the southern portion of the beach, at the end of Washington Boulevard, is the 'Venice Fishing Pier'. A 1,310-foot (400 m) concrete structure, it first opened in 1964, was closed in 1983 due to El Niño storm damage, and re-opened in the mid-1990s. On December 21, 2005, the pier again suffered damage when waves from a large northern swell caused part of it to fall into the ocean. The pier remained closed until May 25, 2006, when it was re-opened after an engineering study concluded that it was structurally sound.
The Venice Breakwater is an acclaimed local surf spot in Venice. It is located north of the Venice Pier and lifeguard headquarters and south of the Santa Monica Pier. This spot is sheltered on the north by an artificial barrier, the breakwater, consisting of an extending sand bar, piping, and large rocks at its end.
In late 2010, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors conducted a $1.6 million replacement of 30,000 cubic yards of sand at Venice Beach eroded by rainstorms in recent years. Although Venice Beach is located in the city of Los Angeles, the county is responsible for maintaining the beach under an agreement reached between the two governments in 1975.
Oakwood lies inland from the tourist areas and is one of the few historically African-American areas in West Los Angeles.
East of Lincoln
East of Lincoln is separated from Oakwood by Lincoln Boulevard. It extends east to the border with Mar Vista. Aside from the commercial strip on Lincoln (including the Venice Boys and Girls Club and the Venice United Methodist Church), the area almost entirely consists of small homes and apartments as well as Penmar Park and (bordering Santa Monica) Penmar Golf Course.
A housing project, Lincoln Place Apartment Homes, built by the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, is currently undergoing a $140 million renovation to add 99 new market-rate apartment homes and to update the remaining 696 existing homes. A new pool, two-story fitness center, resident park and sustainable landscaping are being added. Aimco, which acquired the property in 2003, had previously been in a legal battle to determine whether or not Lincoln Place could be demolished and rebuilt. In 2010, Aimco settled with tenants and agreed to reopen the project and return scores of evicted residents to their homes and add hundreds of units to the Venice area.
Arts and culture
Venice has been known as a preferred location for creative artists. In the 1950s and 1960s, Venice became a center for the Beat generation and there was an explosion of poetry and art, which continues today. Major writers and artists throughout the decades have included Stuart Perkoff, John Thomas, Frank T. Rios, Tony Scibella, Lawrence Lipton, John Haag, Saul White, Robert Farrington, Philomene Long, and Tom Sewell.
Originally established as a planned city imitating Venice, Italy, Venice is home to a large number of early 1900s buildings built in to emulate Italian renaissance architecture. Particularly along Windward Avenue, where an arched arcade covers the sidewalks on portions of both sides of the street. Similar buildings originally formed a continuous arcade from the boardwalk to the former lagoon (now the Windward traffic circle) but these were condemned by the City of Los Angeles after annexation. Only through the efforts of local preservationists were the few buildings that remain able to be preserved, although many were substantially modified.
Designers Charles and Ray Eames had their offices at the Bay Cities Garage on Abbot Kinney Boulevard from 1943 on, when it was still part of Washington Boulevard; Eames products were also manufactured there until the 1950s. The brick building's interior was redesigned by Frank Israel in 1990 as a creative workspace, opening up the interior and creating sightlines all the way through the building.
Originally located at the Venice home of Pritzker Prize–winning architect and SCI-Arc founder Thom Mayne, the Architecture Gallery was in existence for just ten weeks in 1979 and featured new work by then-emerging architects Frank Gehry, Eric Owen Moss, and Morphosis. Constructed on a long, narrow lot in 1981, the Indiana Avenue Houses/Arnoldi Triplex was designed Frank Gehry in partnership with artists Laddie John Dill and Charles Arnoldi. Frank Gehry has designed several well-known houses in Venice, including the Jane Spiller House (completed 1979) and the Norton House (completed 1984) on Venice Beach. In 1994, sculptor Robert Graham designed a fortress-like art studio and residence for himself and his wife, actress Anjelica Huston, on Windward Avenue.
In the 1970s, performance artist Chris Burden created some of his early, groundbreaking work in Venice. Other notable artists who maintained studios in the area include Charles Arnoldi, Jean-Michel Basquiat, John Baldessari, Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston, James Georgopoulos, Dennis Hopper, and Ed Ruscha. Organized by the Hammer Museum over the course of one weekend in 2012, the open-air Venice Beach Biennial (in reference to the Venice Biennale in Italy) brought together 87 artists, including site-specific projects by established artists like Evan Holloway, Barbara Kruger as well as boardwalk veteran Arthure Moore. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Venice Beach boardwalk became a mecca for street performances, turning it into a popular tourist attraction. Chainsaw jugglers, break dancers, acrobats and comics like Michael Colyar could be seen on a daily basis. Many performers like the Jim Rose Circus got their start on the boardwalk.
Venice Boardwalk murals
The Venice Beach boardwalk area is known for its many famous murals by local artists, including Rip Cronk, Jonas Never, and Levi Ponce. The following is a list of the most notable and iconic boardwalk murals:
Venice Kinesis (2010) by Rip Cronk [a revision of earlier Venice Reconstituted (1989)]
Homage to a Starry Knight (1990) by Rip Cronk
Endangered Species (1990) by Emily Winters
Venice Beach (1990) by Rip Cronk
Morning Shot (1991) by Rip Cronk (portrait mural of musician Jim Morrison)
Touch of Venice (2012) by Jonas aka "Never"
Arnold Schwarzenegger (2013) by Jonas aka "Never" (portrait mural of Schwarzenegger in bodybuilding pose.
Luminaries of Pantheism (2015) by Levi Ponce (depicts pantheism supporters, including Einstein, Tesla, Du Bois, and others.
Venice Public Art Walls
The Venice Art Walls were built in 1961 as part of the Venice Pavilion, a recreation and performing arts facility. It was a popular hangout spot for locals owing to its proximity to the beach and large number of concrete tables. The central area of the pavilion, known as "the pit" was surrounded by flat concrete walls that made for ideal painting surfaces. The pit became a hotbed of the growing graffiti movement in Los Angeles in the 1970s and 1980s, with many prominent artists and graffiti crews painting elaborate pieces on the pavilions walls. The area's thriving counterculture and arts scene, along with law enforcement's general neglect of the area made it an ideal location for artists to paint. Thirty-eight years later the Venice Pavilion was torn down but some of the walls, along with two large, conical concrete structures, were maintained. They were restored in 2000 as part of a renovation of the beachfront park area at the end of Windward Avenue, and ever since artists have been allowed to paint there freely and legally.
Venice was where rock band The Doors were formed in 1965 by UCLA alumni Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison. The Doors would go on to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Morrison being considered one of the greatest rock frontmen. Venice is the birthplace of Jane's Addiction in the 1980s. Perry Farrell, frontman and founder of Lollapalooza, was a longtime Venice resident until 2010.
Venice in the 1980s also had bands playing music known as crossover thrash, a hardcore punk/thrash metal musical hybrid. The most notable of these bands is Suicidal Tendencies. Other Venice bands such as Beowülf, No Mercy, and Excel were also featured on the compilation album Welcome to Venice.
Jay Adams, professional skateboarder
J.C. Barthel, Venice postmaster and commissioner of supplies, 1920s, president of Chamber of Commerce
Charles Benefiel, artist
Charles Winchester Breedlove, Los Angeles City Council member, 1933–45, supported legalized tango games
Bryan Callen, stand-up comedian, actor, writer and podcaster
Brun Campbell, folk ragtime musician
Emilia Clarke, actress
John J. Coit, builder and operator of Venice Miniature Railway
Zack de la Rocha, musician
John Doan, classical guitarist
Tom Felton, actor, musician
Sky Ferreira, singer-songwriter, model, actress
C.H. Garrigues, journalist, Venice Vanguard
Lennon Sisters, singers
John Lovell, businessman, member of Los Angeles Common Council
John Lydon, "Johnny Rotten", lead singer of the Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd
Helene Machado, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player, born and raised in Venice
Milo Manheim, actor who stars as Zed in the Disney Channel Original Movies, Zombies and Zombies 2
Ian McShane, actor
Betty Miller, first female pilot to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean, born and raised in Venice
Berniece Baker Miracle, author, centenarian, and half-sister of Marilyn Monroe
Casey Neistat, filmmaker, vlogger, YouTuber
Anna Paquin, actress
James Edwin Richards, crime activist and citizen journalist, editor and publisher
Ronda Rousey, mixed martial artist, judoka, actress, and professional wrestler
Karl L. Rundberg, Los Angeles City Council member (1957–65), opposed Venice beatniks
Lila Shanley, stage name Lila Finn, stuntwoman, stunt double, and women's volleyball player
Joanie Sommers, singer
The schools within Venice are as follows:
Broadway Elementary School, LAUSD, 1015 Lincoln Boulevard
Animo Venice Charter High School, 820 Broadway Street, which opened in August 2002 with 145 students, adding a freshman class of 140 every year until 2006, when it reached its full capacity of approximately 525 students. The school moved in 2006 to the former Ninety-Eighth Street Elementary School campus, which had been occupied by the Renaissance Academy.
Venice Skills Center, LAUSD, 611 Fifth Avenue
Westminster Avenue Elementary School, LAUSD, 1010 Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Coeur d'Alene Avenue Elementary School, LAUSD, 810 Coeur d'Alene Avenue
Westside Leadership Magnet School, LAUSD alternative, 104 Anchorage Street
Venice High School, LAUSD
View the school ratings and reviews here.
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