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Artists Roster

In the Old Days:
Windward Avenue

Night Scenes

Lagoon and Midway


Miniature Railroad

Market Street

Mecca Buffet

Scenic Railway

1921 Amusements

Cabrillo Ship Cafe'

Venice Pier

Bath House or Pier




Arielle Haze
Venice photos

Arielle Haze views
beach art

Scott Shellstrom
Venice Art

Jack Chipman

Dale Hartman

Venice Paintings by
Pat Hartman

Ehrlich buildings
Homage to Old Venice

Chris Burden

Unpainting the Town:
lost murals

Helen K. Garber photos

Jeff Verges

Lance Diskan

Avid Brickman

Art at the Rose Cafe'

New Venice Sign

Robbie Conal

Venice-based Art

Ferus Gallery

Mario Barrios

Gary Steinborn

Earl Newman

St. Charles Mural

Spoons of Venice

Rena Small



In the 1920s three children drowned in the canals. The City of Los Angeles tried to destroy the canals in 1924 but it was put off until 1929 when a California Supreme Court decision allowed LA to finally get its way and fill in most of them. At some point in the history of the canals, the residents held Christmas parades and decorated small boats and rafts as floats. An early publicity photo shows five or six of the circus elephants standing on a bridge to demonstrate its strength.


In the Old Days:

Canals and Bridges


The canals were filled with water only a few days before Venice's grand opening day, July 4, 1905. More canals were dug until September of that year. At their peak there were 7 miles or 16 miles of canals, depending on which source is consulted.

Aldebaran Canal (later Market Street)

Another view of Aldebaran Canal

Same view, different boat

Grand Canal copyright 1907

Coral Canal meets the Lagoon

Looking eastward along Lion Canal (later Windward Avenue)

1940s or 1950s




The history of this property was traced by Venice historian/journalist Paul Tanck in a recent article, from which these highlights are gleaned:
Called St. Mark’s Island, the triangular area was bordered by Riviera Avenue (east) Lion Canal (north), Grand Canal (south) and the lagoon on the west. Its earliest structures were tents occupied by the very first tourists. When more permanent structures took over, this piece was destined to hold 18 Venetian Villas. But in 1907, before that plan could be carried out, Venice founder Abbot Kinney entered into dialogue with a world-famous horticulturist, and the concept of Luther Burbank Park evolved. Arbor Day of 1908 saw the planting of the first group of several hundred Burbank trees and shrubs.

The building we see here started out somewhere else, as a bunkhouse for workers who built the canals. It was moved to this position in probably 1907, and leased for a short time to the Cosmos Club under the leadership of Mrs. Kinney. (Although this was a women’s organization, Abbot Kinney was an honorary member.) Already plans were being laid for a new home for the Kinneys at the point of the island.

In the meantime, after a short occupancy by a men’s club (The Owls) the building was leased by a grammar school but quickly proved inadequate for that purpose. In 1916 the building, whose address was One Grand Canal, was remodeled and augmented, ending up as an eight-room home for the Kinneys.(The first Mrs. Kinney had died, this was the second Mrs. Kinney.) After Abbot Kinney’s death in 1920, the house was willed to Irving Tabor, his chauffeur, but since the neighbors objected to a black family moving in, the house was sawed into three segments, moved to Oakwood, and reassembled there.

The Joni Mitchell lyric, "They paved Paradise and put up a parking lot" could have been written for this spot. By the 1930s the canals had been filled in and the area had become starkly empty. In the 1950s a Safeway was erected. The supermarket eventually closed, in the mid ‘70s the Post Office began to keep vehicles there, and around 1980 it became the Carrier Annex.



The sign on top of the building says United States Island, and the smaller sign on top of that says "Bungalows for Rent." The island was bordered by Altair Canal and Cabrillo Canal.

U.S. Island again, probably in the '20s

Bridge with ornate wrought iron lamp-posts

Floating past Villa City 1908

Villa City office in foreground

© 2004 - 2012 Pat Hartman
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