Manhattan Beach Pier
The Manhattan Beach Pier, built in 1920, is the oldest concrete pier on the West Coast and is designated as a state historic landmark. It is a popular spot for surfing, fishing, photography, and visiting the Roundhouse Aquarium.
The pier is also home to the beach volleyball “Walk of Fame.” Along the length of the pier are bronze volleyball-shaped plaques honoring the winners of the Manhattan Beach Open beach volleyball tournament since the 1960s.
Historically, the site at Manhattan Beach Blvd. originally had an “Iron Pier” that blew down in a giant storm in 1913. Subsequent plans to build a new pier were delayed by World War 1. Finally, a new 928-foot-long pier, designed by A.L. Harris, was unveiled on July 5, 1920.
A popular fishing spot, the pier was enhanced in 1924 with a 200 foot-long wooden extension. That extension remained in service until it was completely destroyed by the winter storms of 1940-1941 and never replaced.
Additional winter storms in January of 1988 caused the closure of the pier and resulted in erosion of its materials. A reconstruction effort to replace the deck, roundhouse, and lifeguard station was completed on July 18, 1992.
The Roundhouse Aquarium, a Spanish-tiled octagonal building that sits at the end of the pier, features marine displays and a working marine lab. The interior was entirely redesigned and modernized in 2018 in an effort led by the Harrison Greenberg Foundation, and the city of Manhattan Beach. The aquarium and its marine education programs are run by Oceanographic Teaching Stations Inc.
In November and December each year, the pier is lit up with special holiday lighting. On the second Sunday each December, the Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks festival is held, with fireworks shot from the pier itself while thousands gather all over town to watch. (Photo of holiday lit pier below via Jefferson Graham.)
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