About: VisitVeniceCA.com is the ultimate guide to Venice, California. VisitVeniceCA.com features organized lists of information helpful to visitors and locals alike! The most complete events calendar, the funnest attractions, the best deals, the most up to date information and more is what you get from VisitVeniceCA.com. As the sister site to the famed VenicePaparazzi.com, we are Venice’s #1 events, activities, local deals, and information source!
ABOUT VENICE BEACH:
Welcome to Venice! Let’s have a short history lesson on this magical place.
Venice was founded by tobacco millionaire Abbot Kinney on July 4, 1905. Kinney’s idea was to created a place dedicated to health, higher learning, and education. A place where people would come to relax and enjoy the ocean air while following intellectual pursuits. After opening, Kinney brought in professors and writers to deliver lectures to what he thought would be well attended seminars. Much to his dismay, the idea flopped! It turned out people were much more interested in carnival rides and side show attractions. So, Kinney gave the people what they wanted. He built and amusement park, a pier, a miniature steam train, 16 miles of canals with gondola rides, and more.
Kinney died on Nov. 4 1920 from lung cancer. By 1925, Venice was in shambles, unable to govern itself. So, Venice voted to become part of the City of Los Angeles. In 1930 oil was discovered, and up went the oil rigs. Venice’s once pristine air turned into a cloud of toxic fumes and the canals became polluted, dirty eyesores. Venice became known as the “Slum by the Sea.”
Time went on, the oil boom dwindled, and WW2 came to an end. The newly remodeled and renamed Lincoln Place apartments were originally built to house WW2 veterans.
As the 1950’s got going, bodybuilding became all the rage in Venice. The original Muscle in Santa Monica inspired a culture of outdoor fitness, weightlifting, physique contests, and gymnastics.
In the 1960’s the Beatniks, followed by the hippies, migrated to Venice. Cheap rent and a vibe of individuality fed a culture of artists, musicians, and poets. Famously, The Doors formed in Venice in the late 60’s and were a staple around the Venice/Santa Monica area.
Then came skateboarding. Originally known as sidewalk surfing, Venice is largely credited as being the birthplace of modern skateboarding. The pioneering Zephyr team, home to Jay Adams, Tony Alva, Stacy Peralta and many more, was run by Jeff Ho out of a local shop. They eventually became known world wide as one of the most influential skate teams ever.
Venice’s punk rock culture, born in the late 70’s continued on into the 80’s. Most notably with local band Suicidal Tendencies skyrocketing to international stardom. The aggressiveness of Venice’s skate/surf culture was a perfect compliment to the punk rock movement, and both scenes flourished.
In the 1980’s the crack epidemic hit Los Angeles, and Venice had its own problem with gang wars. This continued into the 90’s and Venice’s reputation as a rough town was well warranted.
In 2000 the city redid the boardwalk. Part of this process was to tear down the Pavillion, which had been a make shift skatepark for years. People would bring in plywood and make ramps, or just skate on the existing concrete structures. On Oct. 3 2009, after many years of activism on the part of Geri Lewis and others, the famed Venice Skate Park opened on the beach.
Through the first decade of 2000, Venice continues to go through changes. A large influx of tech companies has driven up real estate prices in the area and there is a constant dialogue about what is happening to Venice’s cultural roots.
Some cool facts about the V
Demographics and geography:
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Alex and Edizen Stowell
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