Obscure Facts About Venice

  • Venice was incorporated as a city, not in 1905, but on Feb. 17, 1904.
  • The original name for the city was not Venice, but Ocean Park. Today, Ocean Park is the name of the community to the north of Venice.
  • The date we celebrate as the founding of Venice, July 4, 1905, was the grand opening of “Venice of America.”.
  • It was not until May 29, 1911 that the park of Ocean Park south of Navy Street detached themselves and named their new city Venice.
  • The city limits of Venice extended from Navy St. in the north to Imperial Highway. The southern park, from Pershing Drive west is today called Playa del Rey. Its street names and numbering follow the pattern in Venice.
  • The most eastern point of Venice was Walgrove to Beethoven, south of Venice Blvd. It was here that the city of Venice built its high school.
  • When Venice was a city, most of the surrounding area was farm land.
  • Before Abbot Kinney Blvd. was named, it was called Washington Blvd. Before that it was called Lake Avenue. It was also called El Camino Real.
  • North Venice Blvd. was named Pico Blvd. and South Venice Blvd. was named Virginia Ave.
  • Palms Blvd. was an extension of Rialto Ave. and was named Rialto. Evidence can still be seen on the alley south of Palms, which is called Rialto Ct.
  • The Venice civic center, city hall, fire and police departments were on Lorelei Ave.(now called 17th Ave.), between Pacific Ave. (then called Trolley Way) and Speedway.
  • Why are so many streets and alleys in central Venice named for cities in Spain? Originally, they were named for cities in Italy. Did some hispanophile in Los Angeles change all the names after Venice was annexed at 9 am on Nov. 25, 1925? Here are just some of the names that were changed from Italian cities to Spanish cities: Verona to Toledo, Mantua to Granada, Ravenna to Valencia, Modena to Cordova, Pavia to Seville, and Ferrara to Navarre. Oddly Andalusia has always been Andalusia.

The above information was obtained from the city of Venice archives which are now being held captive in downtown Los Angeles. Free Venice!

–Jim Smith

Categories: History, Jim Smith, Venice

Leave a Reply