Pagodas on Ocean Front Walk
by Marty Schatz, Board Member Emeritus
BETWEEN 1935 AND 1943, THE WORKS PROJECT ADMINISTRATION PROGRAM (WPA) PROVIDED ALMOST 8 MILLION JOBS AROUND THE UNITED STATES…
Many public buildings, projects and roads were built under the auspices of the WPA, which also established significant support for the arts, drama, media and literacy. Almost every community in America has a park, bridge or school constructed by the agency. The Venice Post Office mural featuring Abbot Kinney was also part of the WPA effort.
It is believed that the original pagodas – or pergolas – along Ocean Front Walk, were built as part of the WPA Program. They provided rest and comfort for many of the older Jewish population that frequented the boardwalk during the late ‘40s and ‘50s, and provided a convenient hang-out for the beats, hippies, musicians, and artists that followed them.
As part of the Ocean Front boardwalk rejuvenation in 2000, these old structures were torn down, replaced by a simple facimile of the elegant hand tooled originals.
It is the intention of the Venice Heritage Museum to bring back these pagodas as part of the unique architecture within the museum campus.