The Two Faces Of Gentrification

Hollywood celebrities and gangs, million-dollar luxury homes and the homeless, all live side-by-side in the Oakwood neighborhood of Venice.
June 14, 2006, 2pm PDT | Abhijeet Chavan
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"In the Oakwood section of Venice, two worlds tensely coexist. One is characterized by stylish glass-and-wood houses with lush gardens that grace the pages of Architectural Digest and Dwell. The other is marked by small run-down apartment buildings and neglected bungalows with overgrown yards...Abbot Kinney, an eccentric developer who a century ago dreamed of re-creating Venice, Italy, on the beach, complete with canals and gondoliers, set aside the Oakwood neighborhood for working-class blacks....The gentrification that began three decades ago around Venice's famous canals has pushed inland into the Oakwood area, as urban professionals and Hollywood types sought that perfect Craftsman to restore or the ideal lot on which to build a designer home...To people of color, in particular, the disparity has been a source of bitterness and anger. For them, Venice remains a hotbed of economic disenfranchisement, where they are squeezed out of the job market."

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Published on Friday, June 9, 2006 in The Los Angeles Times
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