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Downtown Venice (Venice Avenue West)
Venice is a city in Sarasota Countymarker, Floridamarker, United Statesmarker. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2007 estimates, the city had a population of 21,015. It is noted for its large snowbird population. Its newspaper is the Venice Gondolier Sun. Tampa Bay's Univision affiliate WVEA-TVmarker is licensed to Venice, though it is based in Tampamarker, and broadcasts from Riverview.

Venice is a principal city of the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area.


In the 1870s, Richard Roberts established a homestead near Roberts Bay. In 1884, he sold a portion of his holdings to Frank Higel. Higel established a citrus operation involving the production of several lines of canned citrus items and for the next 30 years, the Higel family members were boat builders, fishermen, grove caretakers and contractors. Darwin Curry was the first postmaster. The Higel and Curry families chose the name Venice for their community post office, located south of Shakett Creek on what is now known as Portia Street in Nokomis, Florida.

The first railroad to Venice was built in 1911, paving the way for new development and expansion. Development in Venice occurred slowly and remained a small fishing village and farming community through the first part of the 1920s. In 1925, Dr. Fred H. Albee, a well-known orthopedic surgeon, purchased 2,916 acres of land from the Venice-Sarasota Company. Albee had previously developed Nokomis and built its first luxury hotel, known as the Pollyanna Inn. Albee retained John Nolen, a world-renowned city planner, to design a city on his land. Fred Albee howeder did not have a chance to implement his city plan before he was approached with a proposal from the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers to purchase his land on Oct. 6, 1925. The purchase was motivated by a desire by BLE to increase the union's assets and holdings in the area.

The BLE Realty Corporation was organized to develop the area and the Venice Company created to market property. The company retained planner John Nolen to complete a city plan in 1926. The BLE Realty Company selected George A. Fuller as the contractor; the New York architectural firm of Walker and Gillette, as supervising architects; and Prentiss French as landscape architect. Finally on June 10, 1926, the first street in Venice opened to traffic. Nassau Street ran from the terminus of Tamiami Trail through Venezia Park, and again into the Trail. By mid-June of 1926, the first phase was complete with 6 miles of graded streets and a mile of 7-foot-wide sidewalks and gutters. The Hotel Venice (now known as Park Place on Nassau Street) opened on June 21, 1926 and residential construction in the town started in July 1926, with the construction of three large residences in the Gulf View subdivision. That same year, the city of Venice held its first town council meeting and formed the police and fire departments. Florida Governor John Martin appointed Edward L. Worthington as the first mayor of Venice. After annexations of surrounding areas, the state legislature changed the designation of Venice from a "town" to "city" On May 9, 1927.

The Venice Army Air Base was established by the U.S. government in May of 1942. The 27th Service Group was relocated from McDill Field in Tampamarker to provide training for support services to combat air units and later, the 13th Fighter Squadron, 53rd Fighter Group, was transferred to Venice from Fort Myersmarker. They were operational training units for combat fighter pilots and ground crewmen. After World War II, the city of Venice acquired the air base from the United States government, with the stipulation it always be used for aviation or revert to federal ownership.

In February of 2001, Robert Hanssen was charged with spying for the KGBmarker. After it was discovered that his mother lived in Venice, national news came to the city to report on the issue. On September 12, 2001, national news and the FBImarker descended on Venice as it was discovered that three of the WTCmarker 9/11 terrorists, Mohamed Atta, Marwan Al-Shehhi, and Ziad Jarrah, had all lived in Venice for the purpose of taking flight training lessons at the Venice Municipal Airport. The trio had all enrolled in Huffman Aviation. Atta's time in Venice has been chronicled by Daniel Hopsicker in his book, Welcome to Terrorland.


Venice is located at (27.098674, -82.438985).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 25.0 km¬≤ (9.7 mi¬≤). 23.6 km¬≤ (9.1 mi¬≤) of it is land and 1.4 km¬≤ (0.6 mi¬≤) of it (5.69%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 17,764 people, 9,680 households, and 5,362 families residing in the city. The population density was 752.1/km² (1,948.8/mi²). There were 13,516 housing units at an average density of 572.2/km² (1,482.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.14% White, 0.55% African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.24% from other races, and 0.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.10% of the population.

There were 9,680 households out of which 7.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.2% were married couples living together, 4.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.6% were non-families. 40.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 30.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.76 and the average family size was 2.25.

In the city the population was spread out with 6.9% under the age of 18, 2.3% from 18 to 24, 10.2% from 25 to 44, 23.1% from 45 to 64, and 57.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 69 years. For every 100 females there were 76.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,536, and the median income for a family was $46,898. Males had a median income of $35,271 versus $26,132 for females. The per capita income for the city was $28,220. About 3.7% of families and 5.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.4% of those under age 18 and 3.7% of those age 65 or over.

Shark's Tooth Capital of the World

Venice, Florida has been listed in many publications as being the "Shark's Tooth Capital of The World". It hosts an annual festival, the Shark's Tooth Festival, every year to celebrate the abundance of fossilized shark's teeth that can be found on its coastal shores.

Notable locations

The following structures and areas are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:

Notable residents

Scott Palguta - Professional soccer player

Steve Trout - Retired MLB pitcher (Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners)


Image:VeniceSunset.jpg|Sunset on one of the beaches in Venice, FloridaImage:VeniceAve.jpg|Venice Avenue in Venice, Florida

See also


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