The History of Santa Monica Pier – Part One

Photo Credit – The Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation

Santa Monica Pier, located on a legendary, award-winning sandy beach, has over the years acted as a major focus point for both citizens and tourists alike in Santa Monica, the chic little city on the sea.

Originally built on concrete piles, the pier had to be restructured with wooden piles due to rust and fracturing of the concrete which not only restored the faith in the public but also gave the pier an authentic marine-type look that was more aesthetically pleasing.

Photo Credit – The Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation

The pier became an instant success with the fishing community – people came from all over California to drop over their lines, hoping to catch the legendary ”Black Sea Bass’.

Here’s a whistle-stop tour of the history:

– 12th June 1916 – Looff Hippodrome opened an amusement park

-1920’s – Santa Monica Amusement Company bought the amusement park and begun building a Dipper and a ballroom.

-1924 – 50,000 people attended grand opening of La Monica Ballroom on Pier and it was named ‘a castle floating over the ocean’. Sadly due to the 1930’s depression, it soon shut its doors.

Photo Credit – The Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation

-1938 – Mobster Tony ‘The Hat’ Cornero anchored his barge SS Rex three miles off the pier and declared it the base for his water taxi service. After an eight day stand off with officials, Cornero surrendered claiming he ‘needed a haircut’.

-1943 – Walter Newcomb bought the park and added his 1922 Toboggan Company Carousel.

Photo Credit – The Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation

-1972 – Plans were made to rebuild the Pier into a man made resort island. After passionate rallies from the community the plans were overturned.

This showed the popularity of the pier among locals and how they felt that in losing it, they were losing a structure that plays a vital role in the heart of Santa Monica history.

There is more to this story, never fear!  To be continued…

Contributor: Guy Hough

Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau is a client of Magellan PR. For more information, please visit http://www.santamonica.com , follow them on twitter @GoSantaMonica or on Facebook/visitsantamonica.  Santa Monica Pier is on twitter – follow them @SantaMonicaPier and on Facebook/TheSantaMonicaPier.

Magellan PR is on twitter: @MagellanPR / on Facebook: MagellanPR / on Pinterest: Sue Lowry / on Google+: Sue Lowry & MagellanPR and on Flickr: Sue Lowry. For more information on our company, visit www.magellan-pr.com. Follow our other blog focussing on travel in the South of England – A3 Traveller.

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About magellanstraits

Magellan Straits showcases the observations & musings from Magellan PR, a boutique travel & lifestyle agency founded in 1998. We post items that are of interest from the clients we promote and from the travels and experiences that we independently undertake.
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