Venice, Los Angeles, California

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Venice Beach and Boardwalk

Venice, California, is a district of the city of Los Angeles, California. It is best known for its canals and beaches, but it also has a somewhat bohemian residential area as well as a colorful boardwalk. Its area code is 310, its ZIP Code is 90291.

Contents

History

The Venice of America was founded by Abbot Kinney in 1905, and it was annexed to Los Angeles in 1925.(There have been several movements to secede from Los Angeles since then, including currently.) In 1929 most of the canals were filled in to allow for automobile traffic. In the 1930s oil drilling supplanted amusement. Hundreds of wells covered the area and drilling waste clogged the remaining waterways. It was a short-lived boom, but the wells were still producing oil into the 1970s.

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Alleys of Venice, near 17th Place. The painting of past-resident Jim Morrison is one of many murals in the area.

Venice is remarkable for a number of innovations. Movie aviator and Venice airport owner, B.H. DeLay, implemented the first lighted airport in the United States on DeLay Field (previously known as Ince Field). He also initiated the first aerial police in the nation, after a marine rescue attempt was thwarted. DeLay also performed many of the world's first aerial stunts for motion pictures in Venice.

Venice and neighboring Santa Monica were host for a decade to an amusement and pleasure-pier called Pacific Ocean Park, or P.O.P by locals. The facility experienced declining attendance in the mid-60s what with increasing competition from other newer parks in Southern California such as Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Busch Gardens, and Marineland, and it was torn down to make way for a large residential building complex. Another aging tear-down in the 1960s was the Aragon Ballroom that had been the longtime home of The Lawrence Welk Show. The district around P.O.P. is known as Dogtown, and was home to pioneering skateboarders, as profiled in the documentary film, Dogtown and Z-Boys.

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Chiat/Day Building, Main Street. Frank Gehry, Architect. The binoculars, which house a conference room, were designed with help from Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen

Producer Roger Corman owned a production facility, the Concorde/New Horizons Studio, on Main Street for many years, in which a large number of his films were shot. This facility was torn down to build lofts.

Attractions and neighborhoods

Venice Beach is understood to include the beach, the promenade that runs parallel to the beach ("Ocean Front Walk" or just "the boardwalk"), Muscle Beach, the tennis courts, the numerous beach volleyball courts, the bike trail and the businesses and residences that have their addresses on Ocean Front Walk. It is a great magnet for tourists, even from other parts of Los Angeles.

The Venice Fishing Pier is a 1,310 foot long, concrete structure first opened in 1964 at the end of Washington Street. It was closed in 1983 due to El Niņo storm damage and reopened in the mid-1990s.

The Oakwood neighborhood of Venice, which lies inland a few blocks from the tourist areas, is notorious for crime exacerbated by local drug dealers from the local Crip set, Venice Shoreline Crips. It is now undergoing rapid gentrification and the Shorelines are in rapid decline.

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Ballerina Clown by Jonathon Borofsky. The statue's right leg is mechanized and kicked slowly when first installed.

Like much of Los Angeles, Venice is also well-known for traffic congestion; it lies 2 miles away from the nearest freeway, and its unusually dense network of narrow streets was not planned for the demands of modern traffic.

Venice is today a vibrant area of Southern California and it continues a tradition of progressive social change involving prominent Westsiders. The Venice Family Clinic is the largest free clinic in the country.

Notable residents and businesses

Venice has always been known as a hangout for the creative and the artistic. Prominent residents of Venice include actresses Julia Roberts and Angelica Huston, actor Nicolas Cage and musician John Lydon (who owns a sizeable amount of rental property in Venice). Architect Frank Gehry is a longtime resident who has bought a huge vacant lot on Harding Street in Venice where he plans to break ground on and build his new personal residence in August 2005. California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is the majority owner of a popular restaurant in Venice, Schatzi's on Main, and owns other real estate in the area. Comedian and actor Bill Cosby has also owned commercial property on Main Street for years, and has his production company there. Restauranteur Wolfgang Puck has owned and operated noted eateries in the area since the 1990s.

Los Angeles County Lifeguards

Venice Beach is the Headquarter of the Los Angeles County Lifeguard Division of the Fire Department. It is Located at 2300 Ocean Front Walk. It is one of the nation's largest ocean lifeguard organizations with over 100 full-time and 600 part-time or seasonal lifeguards. The headquarter building used to be the City of Los Angeles Lifeguard Headquarters until they were merged into the County System in 1975.

Venice in the media

Dozens of movies and hundreds television shows have used locations in Venice, including its beach, its pleasure piers, the canals and colonades, the boardwalk, the high school, even a particular hamburger stand. For a complete list of movies shot in Venice, see: Venice California History Site - Movie Making in Venice (http://naid.sppsr.ucla.edu/venice/articles/movies.htm). Various Venice venues are visible in this list of selected media:

Film

Television

External links

nl:Venice Beach

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