|"Linnie Canal" by Dan Graziano|
oil on canvas 24" x 20"
Venice of America was founded by tobacco millionaire Abbot Kinney in 1905, whose grand vision included digging several miles of canals modeled after those of Venice, Italy. The canals were also needed to drain the existing marshes which characterized the area. In 1925, Venice was annexed to the City of Los Angeles who soon decided that the town needed more streets - not canals – resulting in most of them being paved in 1929 despite a three-year court battle by canal residents. The canals south of Venice Boulevard remain intact today. In 1994, Los Angeles refurbished the six remaining canals for $6,000,000.
During the seventies, the Linnie Canal Downwind Boat Races was run on a secret summer afternoon with contestants having two hours to build their boat and sail it down the canal. The masts had to be lowered to pass beneath the three canal bridges.