Friday, February 16, 2007

Here's How We Started Out and Here's What We've Become

One of the first structures built in Manhattan Beach was a pier. The first pier, shown above, was believed to have been 900-feet long. Pylons were made by fastening three railroad rails together and driving them into the ocean floor. A narrow wooden deck was supported by these pilings. A wave machine was installed at the foot of the pier in order to generate electricity but the plan did not work. The "old iron pier" as it was called, was destroyed by a major storm in 1913. Lack of money, lawsuits, storms, and debates about when and where to build another pier delayed Manhattan Beach from having a pier completed until 1920. This time, it was a cement pier with a rounded end and it was 928-feet long. The roundhouse at the end was not completed until 1922. In 1928, a 200-foot wooden extension was added but it was destroyed in a storm in 1940. Storms and time were not kind to the pier and repairs were made but the appearance changed. In 1991, a decision to restore it back to its 1920s appearance was made. In 1992, a pier dedication took place. In 1995, the pier was declared a state historic landmark. It is the oldest standing cement pier on the West Coast.

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