Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Pier sits at the bottom of Colorado Avenue and is a double-jointed structure that contains an amusement park, piers to fish and watch, and concession stands. The amusement park is called Pacific Park, which is commonly mistaken for Pacific Ocean Park, which operated in the 1950s and 1960s and replaced the amusement park before it, Ocean Park Pier.

The history of the Pier isn’t necessarily glamorous, as the need for a pier was declared in 1909 in order to run sewage out into the ocean. When the 1920s rolled around, people came to their senses and realized that pumping sewage into the ocean might not be the best idea, so they abandoned the practice. While this was quite a drab reason for building the pier, there was an attractiveness to it since it was the first pier in the US and made of concrete ever constructed on the west coast.

The “state of the art” technology used was a much safer and more stable way of erecting a pier than the traditional use of wooden piles. The opening of the pier was a grand event that was held on September 9, 1909, and featured a slew of activities, such as George Freeth, a legendary surfer, judging events consisting of rowing, boating, and swimming. The USS Albany, a US Navy Cruiser, paid a visit to the pier becoming a major attraction of the day. There was also a production put on called The Surrender of Rex Neptune that told the story of a king who made the declaration that he was going to destroy the pier only to have it revealed to him that it is made out of concrete and therefore indestructible.

The new pier was a major success among locals and travelers alike. It became a popular hub for fishing, and a frequent stream of stories, some true and some fable, regarding the giant Black Sea Bass that would commonly be caught at the pier began to be told.

From the beginning, locals yearned for an amusement park to be built atop the pier in order to challenge the famous Ocean Park and Venice Pier, which both had one of their own. A man by the name of Charles Looff took the bait and began construction of another pier that would house the amusement park and meet with the original pier. This turned it into a massive two-way pier that was easily accessible by the Pacific Electric Air Line as well as the trolley running from Santa Monica to Venice.

The new Looff Pleasure Pier was an exciting feature of the town, with a carousel as the very first ride. It was so popular that another row of horses was added to accommodate more riders. Not long after, live music and more rides and attractions were added to the pier, including a Bowling & Billiards building, a funhouse called “What Is It?”, and a roller coaster called the Blue Streak Racer.

The Santa Monica Pier is located at 200 Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, California, 90401, and is open from 6 AM until 10 PM every day. If you have any inquiries, you can contact offices at (310) 458-8900.

Ready for another article? Follow this link.

Map from Santa Monica Pier to CreatedHair by Amy Gibson

Map from Santa Monica Pier to The Museum of Jurassic Technology