Venice Canals was built in 1905 by its founder Abbot Kinney. It was originally called Ocean Park when the canals were dug out of the northern section of the Ballona wetlands between 1904 and 1905. Abbot bought gondola and hired Italian gondoliers to help highlight his beach resort as a tourist attraction. He named it Venice of America in 1907 because the canals he built to drain part of the Ballona wetlands reminded him of Venice Italy.
Kinney’s image was to make it look just like Venice, Italy, but in South California. There are known to be four east-west canals that are named Carroll Canal, Linnie Canal, Howland Canal and Sherman Canal and two north-south canals that are the Eastern Canal and the Grand Canal. Looking through the canals you can see the gorgeous lit canals with gondoliers and arched bridges that draw a widespread publicity that helped sell lots.
The canals were eventually said to be outdated and the bulk of the canals were filled in 1929 to create roads. In 1940, the canals that remained fell into despair and the sidewalks were condemned into the city. The canals remained in very poor condition for about 40 years, but were renovated in 1992. After 1993, it was considered to be a very desirable and expensive residential area where many people wanted to start a home.
Today, many of the houses have been kept up with appropriately with plants never being on the walking path and looking very clean and beautiful. All the houses seem to have great attention in detail and style. I noticed that there were no similar bridges, but similar appearances. I made sure I went on as many bridges as I could go on because they had their own uniqueness and beauty to them.
Bringing a little piece of Italy to Southern California was such a great idea because it created what today are permanent homes for many families. I liked that every house has a dock with its own boat that residents can take for a ride whenever they want. Venice Canals is definitely one of the most perfect locations to visit in California because it is like taking a trip to Europe, but in the West Coast.
Visiting Venice Canals was a great experience. It is the perfect place to take a walk through on a nice sunny day. I enjoyed the difference in architecture that it has and its amazing landscape. I actually felt like I was in Venice, Italy even though I have never visited there. I enjoyed learning about its history and its purpose of why it was created for people to make a home of, or to spend their day taking gondola rides.