Dr. Arnold Springer - Venice Historian

Professor Arnold Springer is many things: a political activist, a historian, an old-time Venice resident and advocate. He is so well regarded and trusted by the community that many of Venice's neighborhood decisions have taken place in the living room of his house, off Electric Avenue. Professor Springer has spent many years collecting primary sources from the history of early Venice, some of which can be found at the Venice Archives -- which he created -- at CalState Long Beach, and the ongoing [Venice History Book Project].

The Estuary
"This was an estuary. The Los Angeles river used to flow through here until there was a great storm, and the river diverted itself. It was a countryside man, it was beautiful."
About Abbot Kinney
"Abbot Kinney was rich, well educated, well read and well traveled. He was a very energetic person, but he was restless."
Venice Unincorporated
"Disincorporate the city, and join Los Angeles and two times that proposition failed... The third time it passed. The aftermath was the realization that they had given up their independence. The only thing they got was a new police station. That's all they got, LAPD."
The Science of Our Past
"History is really very vital for our culture and our society because it fills a void... Its the science of our past, and tells us stories and roots us."
Explore the related interactive mural


Emily Winters - Muralist and Activist


A Visual History of the Canals - Slideshow

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I was very happy to be interviewed by Juan Devis and KCET for the new Departures web site which is meant to showcase the diverse communities of Southern California. Juan Devis did a wonderful job with the interview and asked clear and imaginative questions. The camera man was also very good. Communities of course are not just defined by geography (although Venice is) but also by ethnicity, gender, profession etc. I think that down the line, as the Departures site gets built more and more people will attempt to discover and learn about Venice California by going to this site. KCET has done a wonderful service for the greater Los Angeles public by creating this site and vehicle to present the dynamic and varigated cultural spectrum which is Los Angeles-- to the world. It was an honor to be recognized by Departures for my work which is intended to 'create' a Venice history from the bottom up, using primary sources to spike the imagination of readers, writers, and artists whose aim is to create actual monographic studies or to embed their fictive discourses in the real soup of Venice 'stuff'. Thank you. Arnold Springer


Thank you Arnold.... the pleasure and honor was ours - there is no contemporary story (or history) of Venice without your voice and input.