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In Place: Venice
Ocean Front Walk is an ever-changing piece of performance art. Abbot Kinney, an eclectic shopping and eating excursion. Along the canals, a picturesque oasis. Facing west, it's pure Pacific panorama. And across its nine unique neighborhoods, Venice is a singular community to call home. Set directly on Ocean Front Walk, this three-story contemporary commands views from Catalina to Point Dume. It was recently listed at $5,598,000 by Paul Stukin and Erica Reams. It’s a short stroll to the Boardwalk, the Canals and Abbot Kinney shops and restaurants. Santa Monica is just up the beach. In the 1890’s, as East Coast tobacco mogul Abbot Kinney was treating his asthma in Sierra Madre, he looked at a deteriorating seaside marshland and saw the Venice of America. On July 4, 1905, his dream attraction opened: several miles of canals with gondolas; a 1,200-foot pleasure pier with an auditorium, ship restaurant and dance hall; a hot salt-water plunge; a block-long arcaded Venetian business street; and a mile of beach dotted with rental cottages and tents. Venice was the Coney Island of the Pacific until 1926, when it was annexed to Los Angeles. Over the next decades, most canals were filled and replaced by streets, the pier was dismantled, and the Red Car route to Venice was eliminated. In the ‘50s, Venice became home to the Beat Generation, and the grand Aragon Ballroom hosted Lawrence Welk’s Champagne Music telecast. In the ‘60s, the Aragon became a psychedelic rock venue and Kinney’s grand hotels and arcades were razed. Gold’s Gym put Venice on the map as a bodybuilding mecca, and the roller skating craze put it in the global spotlight. Venice’s amusement park past came roaring back to the Boardwalk. So did its artist colony roots; today, international artists like Lita Albuquerque, Charles Arnoldi and Billy Al Bengston have their studios here. In the ‘90s, the rebirth of Venice began. Some canals were rehabilitated. Venice Pier was renovated. A 20-mile bike path unfurled from Will Rogers State Beach to Torrance. Ocean Front Walk got a major facelift. These days, both film and tech companies have made Venice home, and growing interest in its nine neighborhoods is making Venice one of LA’s hottest communities. More than ever, Dr. Springer’s description fits Venice to a T: unique … exciting … stubborn! For more information, visit 2205 Ocean Front Walk, Venice
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