Venice Canal Historic District

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Venice Canal Historic District
Venice Canal Historic District
Venice Canal Historic District is located in California
Venice Canal Historic District
Location Los Angeles, California
Coordinates 33°59′1″N 118°27′55″W / 33.98361°N 118.46528°W / 33.98361; -118.46528Coordinates: 33°59′1″N 118°27′55″W / 33.98361°N 118.46528°W / 33.98361; -118.46528
Built 1905
Architect Moses Sherman, Eli Clark
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 82002193[1]
LAHCM # 270
Significant dates
Added to NRHP August 30, 1982
Designated LAHCM July 15, 1983
Flyer promoting canals as "America's most unique attraction"

The Venice Canal Historic District is a district in the Venice section of Los Angeles, California. The district is noteworthy for its man-made canals built in 1905 by developer Abbot Kinney as part of his Venice of America plan. Kinney sought to recreate the appearance and feel of Venice, Italy, in Southern California.

The canals are roughly bounded by Eastern Court on the east, Court A on the south, Strongs Drive on the west, and Court E on the north. There are four east-west canals (Carroll Canal, Linnie Canal, Howland Canal, and Sherman Canal) and two north-south canals (Eastern Canal and Grand Canal). The beautifully lit canals with gondoliers and arched bridges drew widespread publicity and helped sell lots in the development.

However, as the automobile gained in popularity, the canals were viewed by many as outdated, and the bulk of the canals were filled in 1929 to create roads. By 1940, the remaining canals had fallen into disrepair, and the sidewalks were condemned by the city. The canal district remained in poor condition for more than 40 years, as numerous proposals to renovate the canals failed due to lack of funding, environmental concerns, and disputes as to who should bear the financial responsibility. The canals were finally renovated in 1992, with the canals being drained and new sidewalks and walls being built. The canals re-opened in 1993 and have become a desirable and expensive residential section of the city.

The residential district surrounding the remaining canals was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. However, in recent years, there has been extensive renovation work on many of the old houses, and many large, modern houses have been built.

Former canals[edit]

Before 1929, the area covered by canals was approximately three to four times as large as today. The entire area between Abbot Kinney, Pacific, and Venice Blvd. were canals. These canals were:[2]

  • Coral Canal (now Main St.)
  • Cabrillo Canal (now Cabrillo Ave.)
  • Venus Canal (now San Juan Ave.)
  • Lion Canal (now Windward Ave.)
  • Altair Canal (now Altair St.)
  • Aldebaren Canal (now Market St.)
  • Grand Canal (now Grand Boulevard)

In addition, the traffic circle at Pacific and Windward Avenues is located on top of what once was the Venice Lagoon.[3]

Bungalows on the Venice Canals

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 
  2. ^ Masters, Nathan (April 5, 2013). "The Lost Canals of Venice of America". LA as Subject. KCET. Retrieved December 24, 2014. 
  3. ^ Stanton, Jeffrey. "Map of Venice, 1925". Venice History Site. 

External links[edit]