Posts tagged ‘venice’


Over the years rumors of ‘Abbott Kinneys Deed’ have floated through Venice but nobody ever seemed to know much about it, except that Abbott Kinney, the founder of Venice Beach, had made certain stipulations about how the deeded beach area was to be used.

But now, thanks to Venice activists — the deeds, there are more than one, have been made available to the public; we are now in possession of those deeds and can reveal what it was that Abbott Kinney stipulated over 100 years ago in 1904 and 1906.

It appears that Mr. Kinney had a very specific use in mind for the area – that is now considered Venice City Beach park – a “pleasure park” is how he and his partners described it in the 1904 ABBOTT KINNEY DEED:

    “TO HAVE AND TO HOLD all and singular the said premises together with the appurtenances unto the said party of the second part and its successors and assigns in the hereinafter named trust, forever, as a pleasure park or beach for the use, benefit and enjoyment of the public in general and particularly the inhabitants of said city and the owners of the property lying adjacent to the property hereinbefore described; provided, that this conveyance is made upon the condition that no house or houses or building of any kind or character, or miniature, steam, street, or electric railway or roadway, or any gas, water or sewer pipe shall ever be erected, constructed, laid, maintained or operated, or he permitted or allowed to beerected, constructed, laid, maintained or operated, in, along, upon or over said lands or any part thereof; and that no game of any kind shall ever be permitted to be conducted or carried on upon said lands or any part thereof, and said lands and every part thereof must at all times be kept free from teaming, open, and unobstructed for the use and enjoyment of the public and as a pleasure park or beach, and said property shall be kept clean at said City’s expense.”

Later, in 1906, Kinney and his partners deeded the 40 ft wide strip of land known as Ocean Front Walk in the 1906 ABBOTT KINNEY DEED:

    “IT BEING HEREBY UNDERSTOOD AND AGREED that said strip of land is to be used for the construction of a public sidewalk and for no other purpose.”

It appears that the City of Los Angeles has stuck, to the most part, to the terms of the deeds.  However, there could be cause for concern, as several businesses fronting onto Ocean Front Walk (Venice Boardwalk) are occupying, and conducting business on what is actually public property ie. the boardwalk (sidewalk) that also happens to be a ‘park’ – which begs the question: would Abbott Kinney approve and, more to the point, is it legal?

From the web:  the Abbot Kinney Company filed a lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles regarding what they considered to be a violation of the 1904 deed when the Rose parking lot was built, on what used to be the beach, at the end of Rose Avenue.  The lawsuit ended in favor of the City of Los Angeles as noted here:




This "free-speecher" has to operate a mobile cart because there is no space for him in the Free Speech Zone


On Sunday, June 20, 2010, Dave Bradt (Mr. Anti-circumcision), Norman and Stella (Urantia), and I (general political commentary)  were set up in the Sunset Pagoda area, as we had been led to believe by second hand reports from LAPD officers on the Pacific detail that we had every legal right to do. Our displays were compact and did not impede any traffic into, out of , or through the Pagoda area.

Early in that afternoon, LAPD officer Quesada approached Dave Bradt as I watched from the other side of the pagoda area.  After a few minutes of observed discussion between Officer Quesada and Dave, I joined the exchange, explaining that I was part of the group who had opted to do this.


No vending allowed in the "Free Speech" (black) spaces


One of our justifications for being in the Pagoda was that the eight (8) black spaces purportedly set aside for first amendment people like us ((LAMC42.15 section B (5)) were all occupied by aggressive commercial vendors of various inclinations and that we had been informed we could set up in the Pagodas.  Officer Quesada, while being very sympathetic to our plight, told us that we had been misinformed.  We could NOT set up in the Pagodas.  If we were allowed to be there, soon many others would be vying for the spaces.

She told us we needed to go to the Rec and Parks Office on Windward Circle and ask them to make those black spaces available to us as LAPD had

Forced to display on a mobile cart because there's no room in the Free Speech Zone!

nothing to do with space allocation and usage.  I told her I was willing to move but would not do so until my partners returned from a rest room break;  the woman is 91 years old and I was not about to abandon her without telling her what was going on.

Shortly after, Officer Quesada returned to our little group in the Pagoda andtold us she had found us a space but we needed to move there right away.  Dave and I gathered what we could of our displays and took them to the space Officer Quesada had cleared of an illegal vendor for us.


There should be no vending in the "Free Speech" (black spot) spaces


After moving all our stuff, Dave and I walked the Boardwalk to the Rec and Parks office to request that the people there remove the illegal vendors in the black spaces, with Dave taking pictures of the black spaces on the way. We hoped to document the evidence of unacceptable commercial vending in those spaces.  At space P-28 we encountered threats and hostility.  We later learned that one of the individuals involved threatened to “kill” us.

When we got to the the Rec and Parks office, it was closed and a message on the door gave the hours (for permit purchase) as Mon-Sat 12noon to 4pm. We returned to our new space and reorganized our prematurely disrupted displays.

My usual routine is to walk the Boardwalk after I have dismantled and stored my display.  I look for plastic that may contaminate the ocean and kill our fish and fowl.  I also pick up discarded evidence of city-sanctioned commercial vending on the Boardwalk.  I now have two grocery bags full of “evidence,” should any civic minded soul care to look at it.  Last Sunday, I did not do this routine check. I did not feel safe after the verbal threats that I learned were directed at me.


There should be no vending in the "Free Speech" (black) spaces


We are concerned that:

  1. Commercial vendors are being allowed to occupy those black spaces, which have purportedly been set aside for First Amendment Free Speech Activists such as Dave, Norman, Stella and myself.
  2. That the people occupying those spaces feel free to threaten us with bodily harm when we gather evidence to support our claim.
  3. That Rec and Parks has let these commercial vendors occupy those eight spaces and sell with impunity for over two years, while we have been afraid to take them due to threats to our persons.
  4. We request that these spaces be identified in situ as available “for Free Speech Activity only; NO VENDING.”

We ask that this unacceptable and unconstitutional situation be remedied at once.

We further ask that steps be taken to insure our safety from assault or other harm while, before and after occupying those spaces.

In addition, we ask that those spaces be relocated further north on the Boardwalk where they will be less vulnerable to possible assaults to legitimate occupants by aggressive commercial elements masquerading as religious or other organization.

Thank you.

Therese Dietlin for VBBC

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