The History of L.A. Beach Cities

Santa Monica

Santa Monica, California Santa Monica Pier

On September 9, 1909, after sixteen months of construction, the Santa Monica Municipal Pier opened to the public. Thousands of people swarmed onto the 1,600-foot-long concrete pier to enjoy a festive day of band concerts, swimming races and the novelty of walking above the waters of the Pacific Ocean. While originally built to satisfy the City's sanitation needs, the Pier quickly became a magnet for the fishing community and fueled the imagination of many local entrepreneurs. More

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Marina del Rey

Marina del Rey, California Fishermans Village

As one of Southern California's most prized recreational areas, Marina del Rey is the realization of a dream that spans more than 100 years. What began as the vision of a 19th century real estate speculator has endured bankruptcy, unsympathetic government reports, two world wars and mother nature, to become a popular destination for day visitors, tourists, water sports enthusiasts and business travelers.

It all began in 1887 when real estate developer, M. C. Wicks envisioned turning the Playa del Rey estuary into a major commercial harbor. Working under the auspices of the Santa Fe railroad, Wicks' Ballona Development Co. invested $300,000 to develop the area but went bankrupt three years later.


Venice Canals Venice, California

Venice of America was founded by tobacco millionaire Abbot Kinney in 1905 as a beach resort town, 14 miles west of Los Angeles. He and his partner Francis Ryan had bought two miles of ocean front property south of Santa Monica in 1891. They built a resort town called Ocean Park on the north end of the property, which was soon annexed to Santa Monica. After Ryan died, Kinney and his new partners continued building south of Navy Street in the unincorporated territory. After the partnership dissolved in 1904, Kinney built on the marshy land on the south end of the property. His intent was to create a seaside resort like its namesake in Italy.


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Culver City

Culver City, California Culver City Hotel

It was said that Harry Culver founded Culver City in the early 1900s, believing that it was the perfect stopping ground between the salty beaches of Santa Monica and the vibrant night life of Hollywood, though a much more romantic beginning of Culver City is more likely to be the cause. 

 After spending a year monitoring traffic and climate through the area that would become Culver City, Mr. Harry Culver fell in love, not only with the land, but also with a beautiful woman.  While waiting at a train platform he saw an angelic vision dressed in a yellow dress and a big straw hat illuminated by the Californian sun.  This elegant woman was Lillian Roberts, a young beauty who lived in the area.


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