On Venice Boulevard: The Last Five Miles of America
Javascript is required to view this map.
 
Venice Boulevard is the most direct route between downtown Los Angeles and the coast at Venice Beach. It began as a dirt track along the side of the railroad tracks, which became part of Huntington’s sprawling Pacific Electric interurban network in 1906, with the infamous Red Cars. Known as the Venice Short Line, the route left Downtown Los Angeles at 16th Street, passed through the rail junction at the Vineland Station, in Mid-City, then curved to the southwest near Fairfax Avenue, rounding the Baldwin Hills, into its final and straight six-mile run to the coast. 
 
The first major stop along this straightaway was at Culver Junction, where two other railroad lines met the Venice Short Line: the Playa del Rey Line, which went down what is now Culver Boulevard to the coast, then south to Redondo Beach; and the Santa Monica Air Line, which connected Exposition Park, near downtown, with Santa Monica. Though it ceased running in 1953, the Air Line corridor was preserved, and in 2016 became the Exposition Line of Los Angeles’ light rail system, once again connecting the downtown area to Santa Monica, by rail. 
 
Culver Junction, marking a temporal and physical intersection between the old and new interurban railways of Los Angeles, is next to what is now downtown Culver City, a place that was born out of this junction too. Its founder and developer, Harry Culver, put his downtown Main Street here, in 1913, because of this rail junction, half way between downtown Los Angeles, and the coast at Venice. “All roads lead to Culver City” his advertisements of the day said. All roads must then depart from here too, so let's begin the journey southwestward down Venice Boulevard starting here, and heading to the coast, over the last five miles of the continent.