In 1904 cigarette magnate Abbot Kinney created an amusement park, “Venice of America,” digging a network of canals into 160 acres of marshland. By the 1920s, stagnant waters had become a health hazard and all but four canals were paved over. In the 1950s, Venice became a neighborhood of artists and bohemians. It still retains that character, even though high rents and real estate prices have displaced many locals.