The Venice Canal Historic District is embedded in the residential Venice suburb of Los Angeles, California. The historic district is noteworthy for possessing man-made wetland canals, built in 1905 by developer Abbot Kinney as part of his Venice of America. Kinney sought to recreate the appearance and feel of Venice, Italy, in coastal Los Angeles County. The names of the canals were given by Abbot Kinney as follows: Aldebaren Canal, Altair Canal, Cabrillo Canal, Coral Canal, Grand Canal, Lion Canal and Venus Canal.

Another set of canals were built south of the Venice Canals, originally known as the New Amsterdam Canals by investors and architects, namely Howland, Sherman and Clark, for whom two canals were named. These 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 lit canals with gondoliers and arched bridges drew widespread publicity and helped sell lots in the development.

By the 1920s, with cars quickly gaining popularity, the canals were viewed by many as outdated, and as a result a number of canals were filled in 1929 to make room for paved roads.


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Before 1929, the area covered by canals was approximately three to four times as large as today. The number of canals was reduced from thirteen to six. The canals were bounded by Abbot Kinney Blvd., Pacific Ave., Westminster Ave., and Venice Blvd. The seven canals were renamed as cement roads by the City of Los Angeles as Main St. and Canal St. (formerly Coral Canal), Cabrillo Ave. (formerly Cabrillo Canal), San Juan Ave. (formerly Venus Canal), Windward Ave. (formerly Lion Canal), Altair St. (formerly Altair Canal), Market St. (formerly Aldebaren Canal) and Grand Boulevard (formerly Grand Canal)

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