2523 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Units #1 + #2, in Venice
There’s Venice, and then there’s Abbot Kinney. Both are iconic and beautiful in their own right, but if you’re lucky enough to call the latter your home, you’ve attained a special level of “making it.” The popular Venice enclave is exactly where these two recently updated apartments at 2523 Abbot Kinney Blvd are now for lease: MLS# 15891251
—and they certainly won’t last.
Built in 1960, each of the two 3 bedroom/1.5 bath units is approximately 1,269 square feet. The building is situated on the peaceful side of the typically bustling boulevard, just a stone’s throw away from all the trendy restaurants and boutiques that habitually find their way into countless glossies. Greenery that spans the width of the property provides a measure of privacy on this already quiet street. A hardwood front deck offers downstairs tenants the perfect space for a small summer barbecue or for relaxing on a papasan outdoors with a good book.
2523 Abbot Kinney was first inhabited by Frank Paster, the owner of a construction company specializing in the development of West LA homes. The company is still around today and is managed by his sons Gary and Barry. Designed using midcentury stylistic principles, the duplex features spacious living areas with tracked lighting, hardwood floors, and plenty of storage and closet space.The large galley kitchen is adorned with pretty blue mosaic tile, and an adjoining laundry area is convenient yet unobtrusive. Well-lit bedrooms feature built-in shelving for ample storage space. Natural light floods the rooms and rich hardwood floors throughout provide a homey ambiance. A spacious bathroom features quality bathroom fixtures, sliding glass shower doors, and earthy mosaic tile in a style that is reminiscent of Italian design.A sun-dappled smaller ½ bathroom in the second bedroom.The top unit also has an extensive rooftop deck that spans the garage—a perfectly private way to enjoy one of Venice’s trademark cool, sunny breezes.
Interestingly, Abbot Kinney Boulevard was originally part of Washington Boulevard, but in 1990, the City Council voted to change the name to Abbot Kinney because, according to a Los Angeles Times article from 1990, people expressed confusion while trying to navigate the myriad streets (Washington Street/Place/Boulevard, etc.) named after the first President. The article also mentioned that the majority of those living in Venice actually opposed the law, while retailers, who largely lived elsewhere, were its main proponents.
As the mantra goes—location is a key draw for many, and 2523 Abbot Kinney is brimming with it. In 2012, Abbot Kinney Boulevard was voted “Coolest Block in America” by GQ magazine. In an era where the “cool” neighborhood is becoming an annual trend (read: Silverlake, Los Feliz, Highland Park) we’d offer that Abbot Kinney boasts something a little more than cool: it’s a dream, fulfilled.
That’s because the area was originally founded by a man who envisioned a city that was as spirited and eclectic as he was, and over a century later, his vision seems to have fully actualized.
Abbot Kinney was a Renaissance man (pun intended) who wanted to duplicate the beauty of Venetian art and culture in an American version of the city. The NJ-born tycoon was a cigarette baron, developer, author, eucalyptologist (as Chairman of the CA Board of Forestry, he oversaw the planning of 1000s of eucalyptus trees) and amateur anthropologist who was probably best known for the development of the Venice of America attraction in 1905.
Or, as we locals call it—Venice.
“Venice of America” was a planned community designed in the style of Venetian Renaissance architecture—and on reclaimed marshland. Kinney, along with his partner Francis Ryan, previously built the Ocean Park area as a resort town. In an interestingly chosen day for a debut of an Italian-inspired community, he dedicated the new Venice of America on July 4th, 1905.
According to Socalhistory.org, Venice of America featured an amusement park, homes, hotels, a pier, an auditorium, and a miniature railway line. But it was the canals and lagoons that would prove to be Kinney’s enduring legacy. Originally, the canals snaked across 16 miles of the city and were complete with gondolas and gondoliers straight from the mother country herself. (Valenzuela).
However, as time wore on, so too did the quality of the canals. An accumulation of debris combined with a lack of upkeep and LA’s growing need for roads forced the city to cement the canals. In 1992, through the hard work of Venice property owners and citizens, six of the canals were eventually restored and today are enjoyed by the tens of thousands of tourists and locals that stroll along its banks daily.
The canals are less than a mile away from 2523 Abbot Kinney, making the property close enough to most Venice attractions while allowing its inhabitants to enjoy the solitude of the sleepy luxury that characterizes this part of Abbot Kinney.
The neighborhood is known for star gazing. The duplex is only a short stroll from the lovely French Market Café, where, according to Yelp patrons, Tim Robbins, Rosario Dawson, and other A-listers have been spotted. Not a surprise, considering Venice is home to some of Hollywood’s most elite: Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Downey, Jr., and many others. But even for all its celebrity inhabitants and trendsetting panache, the core of Venice—and Abbot Kinney, specifically—still mirrors the imagination and whimsy of its quixotic namesake.