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Bergamot Station, Santa Monica

4.4
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Bergamot Station is the historical name for the site on which the gallery complex is located, dating back to 1875 when it was a stop for the Red Line trolley running from Los Angeles to the Santa Monica Pier. Bergamot is a flower of the mint family that once flourished in the area.

When the trolley cars stopped running in 1953, the site’s warehouse buildings housed a celery packing operation, then an ice-making plant, and finally a factory for the manufacture of water heaters. Thereafter, the City of Santa Monica purchased the property which then sat abandoned, with plans for it to once again serve as an eventual transit stop, this time for a proposed light rail line running from Los Angeles to Santa Monica.

Plans for the light rail were eventually shelved and the City, seeking an interesting use for the site, approached Wayne Blank, developer and co-owner of the Shoshana Wayne Gallery. Blank’s development expertise has already been tapped by the City of Santa Monica for an earlier project: the conversion of a vacant city-owned airport hangar into artists’ studios. The City, pleased with the project’s outcome, asked Blank to conceive of an artistic use for the Bergamot Station site. Bergamot Station, a campus-like complex that has retained its industrial and rustic look, held its official opening on September 17, 1994.

Since its launch, Bergamot Station has become a popular destination for visitors from around the country and the world. Bergamot Station provides a central location which allows visitors to park in one place and spend the day seeing art, rather than spending time driving from one gallery to the next. It now appears in every guide to Los Angeles as a primary cultural destination, with well over 600,000 visitors each year.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
73 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Bergamot Station is a great place to see some amazing art! It was easy to park. The complex is a good size for a couple of hours of browsing. There is a nice gift shop and a small cafe with an outdoor...  more »
  • Renovated warehouses without et al-I and lined, stylish area. A different method of the tendency of many galleries, each has a personality, have work and scenography. Easy-to-access located 2 stops by train from downtown Santa Monica a car because of tourists.
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  • It is several buildings clustered together with a common parking lot that houses galleries and auction houses. Many were closed or did not have an exhibit up. We didn't see anything astounding or that...  more »
Google
  • Such a great place to see the work of mostly local artists. Unfortunately it seems like a lot of the galleries were gone/empty during my last visit. And the wonderful art paper store has gone out of business. Thankfully, the fun gallery gift shop was still open. Husbands looking for gifts, take note: It's a great place to get unique, hand crafted jewelry for really great prices.
  • Art galleries of all art styles and design studios. Most of galleries are free to visit; some require a reservation so good idea to check the website of the gallery you are interested in before you visit. There are events and openings on occasion with food and music, some invitation only. Free parking in facility or street parking. You can also access these art galleries by light rail; the Exposition line drops you off in front of galleries.
  • A nice little area where galleries located. You can just stroll around and see what's being exhibited and hung.
  • HAD A BLAST AT THE ARTIST GALLERIES THAT THIS STATION OFFERS. Different ARTIST SHOWCASES in every building. Refreshsments were included, and the art work was FUNKIE !!!!
  • I love Bergamot station. Good vibe. Always polite peoples that work in the galleries.

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Where to stay in Santa Monica

Santa Monica's hotels range from luxury to boutique, offering more than 3,500 rooms located at or near the waterfront. Staying at a beachfront resort can cost a bundle, so if you have a limited budget in mind, consider accommodations away from the water. Hotels just a few blocks from the ocean offer comfortable rooms with free Wi-Fi and cable TV at a fraction of the cost charged by their beachfront equivalents. For an even more affordable stay, consider one of the city's inns or motels.
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