Marina del Rey (Images of America)
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To increase trade to the Orient, commercial harbor development in the Ballona wetlands of western Los Angeles was attempted several times from 1880 to 1900, only to be destroyed by disastrous storm-fed floods. After the US Army Corps of Engineers installed revetments on Ballona Creek and moved tons of earth to raise the ground above sea level, Marina del Rey was federally authorized in 1954. Funded by federal, state, and Los Angeles County funds, the largest man-made marina in the nation was built to provide public recreational boating facilities and water access. Private financiers developed restaurants, hotels, premier yacht clubs, Fishermans Village, and a residential marina lifestyle on county-owned leaseholds. This world-class seaport will celebrate 50 years of dynamic growth on April 10, 2015.
captains as harbormaster until he retired in 2005. In 1979, harbor patrolman Harold Edgington, one of the original peace officers, was killed by a deranged man near Panay Way. The 16-year officer was remembered by the community with the naming of Edgington Park, located at the corner of Via Marina and Admiralty Way. (Courtesy of LACDBH.) Deauville Apartments, Parcel 12, are shown under construction at the end of Marquesas Way in 1965. Boat slips at Villa del Mar Anchorage Basin C, on the
floating dock at the corner point of Basin H and the main channel is the new Loyola Marymount University boathouse, which houses rowing shells. The college rowing teams practice on the water at five o’clock in the morning. Fisherman’s Village is being built along the waterway at center. Its lighthouse, under construction close to the docks, will become an iconic structure at Marina del Rey. At upper left, the white-roofed building between Villa Venetia Apartments and the south jetty is the
contain seasonal rain runoff. Traffic moves around the perimeter of the marina on a four-lane divided roadway. Boat slips are at a premium and in short supply. The popularity of boating reflects the presence of many aerospace and technology professionals buying the affordable fiberglass boats of the era. Burton Chace announced in a press release on June 19, 1972, that Marina del Rey was meeting its financial goals “since Marina finances entered the black in 1967” and was accelerating retirement
BREAKING, WATER INFRASTRUCTURE Los Angeles County engineers drew up several footprints of the marina, to be built just north of Ballona Creek. The original “Playa del Rey Harbor” map dated 1947 shows a circular design, with basins and docks arrayed around the perimeter and dirt disposal for mole development. The US Army Corps of Engineers 1955–1956 revised plan for Marina del Rey Harbor considered prevailing winds and angled the entrance channel to keep heavy seas from reaching moorings.
berthed in Basin E. (Courtesy of LACFD.) This 1961 aerial photograph shows the dredged main channel, running from the Pacific Avenue berm (lower right) to the north head wall boundary of the marina (left of center). Basins E and F have visible perimeter outlines made by earlier construction of the seawalls, where dredging will take place. The photograph shows that the marina has eliminated much of the marshlands to the north (left) of Ballona Creek, which runs from lower right to middle top of