Neighborhood Gems Hiding in Plain Sight: Venice Police Station, 1929

ImageAs a city grows and spreads, so does its need for hospitals, schools and jails. By 1928, the L.A. police chief was pleading for more officers, and Venice had grown large enough to justify its own jail and police station. It opened with little apparent fanfare in 1929, and the cells of the new building at 685 Venice Blvd. began to fill. It remained a police station and jail until the 70s. It's now home to the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC).

ImageA concrete bas-relief above the door by artist Harold F. Wilson depicts seven full-length figures. The Smithsonian Institution identifies them: "On the far left is a representation of Protection: a woman is sheltering a child who stands in front of her. To the right of this is a representation of Medical Aid: a male figure is holding a caduceus in his proper left hand. To the right is a representation of Police Power: a robed male figure holds a sword (blade tip down) in his proper right hand. In the center of the panel is a representation of Administration. A male figure is seated on a throne and holds a scroll with both hands. He is bearded and robed. To the immediate right of the center figure is a representation of Justice: a female figure holds a scale in front of her. To the right is a representation of Science: a robed male figure holds a sphere in his proper right hand and gazes into it. On the far right is a representation of Transportation: a female figure holds a winged disc. Her hair flies out behind her."

Location
685 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90291