Venice was founded on July 4, 1905 by the real estate guru Abbot Kinney, and was modeled after Venice, Italy. The area homes some of the most eclectic and creative people in the country. Venice has even been named one of the "funkiest towns of America." The neighborhood of Venice is bounded by Venice Boulevard to the north, Pacific Avenue to the west, Washington Boulevard to the south, and Ocean Avenue to the east. It is situated between Santa Monica and Marina del Rey.
The housing is as diverse as the people; one can find California bungalows, new condominiums, apartments, beachfront property, and tract single-family residences in Venice. The area known as the Canals is reminiscent of Venice, Italy; originally there were sixteen miles of canals which were used as the main source of transportation. Abbot Kinney had gondolas imported from Italy and hired boatmen to sing as they paddled passengers to and fro. As time passed and cars became more of a hot commodity, residents were frustrated with the lack of roadways; in 1929, construction began on the draining of Coral Canal and it was soon filled with dirt and renamed Main Street. Of all the original canals only six remain today.
There are approximately 370 properties that face the canals; these lots are small with an average of 2,400 square feet and are very close in proximity. New homes in Venice are usually three stories in height because lots are so small.
Most famous for the area of its boardwalk known as Muscle Beach, thousands of visitors flock to the beach of Venice just to see some of the most muscular bodybuilders pump iron in the afternoon sun. The rest of the boardwalk offers boutique shops, sidewalk entertainment, and the inevitability of experiencing a wide range of cultures. Abbot Kinney Blvd is a must for any resident or visitor; one will find a mixed array of restaurants, modern furniture stores, antique stores, tattoo parlors, and art galleries.
Mural art became big in the late seventies and early eighties. Artists were covering walls with scenes of everyday life, landscapes, and tributes to influential artists. In 1984, live coverage of the Summer Olympics brought people from all over the world to see Venice. These visitors were able to experience the cultural and artistic diversity of the area. It has been a tourist destination ever since.
Venice is in a great location for those who commute; LAX is only 4 miles away and downtown Los Angeles is eleven. For those with kids the area is served by the Los Angeles Unified School District. On the 2010 Academic Performance Index, the elementary school, Coeur D'Alene Avenue School, scored 870 out of 1,000. The Mark Twain Middle School scored 706 and Venice High School scored 693.
Resources & Links:
- Venice Beach Suites | Corporate housing and vacation rentals.
- Beach Cam
- Local School Links
- Crime Statistics
- Southern California Home Sale Activity | Los Angeles home sales data, organized by ZIP code. Updated monthly.
- LA County Online
- The Los Angeles Times | Online version of the local periodical.
- KCRW | National Public Radio station, based at Santa Monica College.
- ArtScene | Guide to California's museums.
- National Park Search | Great National Parks link.
- California State Parks | Highly recommended.
- Yahoo! Neighborhood Profiles | For neighborhood demographics, cost of living and quality of life.