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3400 Highland Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
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Manhattan Beach Pier - The History

19 May 2016 Written by   Jeff Shotwell Published in blog
Manhattan Beach Pier at Sunset Manhattan Beach Pier at Sunset

A trip to Manhattan Beach is not complete without a visit to the Pier. Located at the end of Manhattan Beach Boulevard, the pier was reputedly one of the first structures erected during the town's birth back in 1901, though the one standing today is not the original pier. The original structure was made from wood and stood 900 feet long but it was destroyed by a storm in 1913.

Delays in construction related to cash flow, mother nature, and the war prevented the reappearance of the pier until 1920. This time around, engineer A.L. Harris built a concrete structure and designed a circular end to help protect against exposure and the ravages of the sea. An octagonal house was added to the line-up in 1922 and a 200 foot extension that had been added in 1928 was destroyed by a winter storm in 1940, never to be repaired.

In 1946, the pier and attached beach were given to the state by the city of Manhattan Beach. For the next forty years, life revolved quietly around this beautiful spot by the sea. But by the mid-1980s, age and Mother Nature had done their dirty work on the pier. A passing jogger was injured by falling concrete and this was the last straw. Something had to be done. In 1995, the Manhattan Beach Pier was declared a historic landmark by the state and the process of restoring it back to its original glory was underway.

Today, the pier is home to the Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab and Aquarium. Free to the public, the aquarium houses a shark tank, a touch tank with species native to Southern California and more.

The pier is also known for its fine fishing, particularly barred surfperch, with fisherpeople catching up to hundreds of them per hour.

In the late 1940s, Dale Velzy, the first commercial surfboard shaper, started a business building and repairing surfboards under the pier. He then moved to the nearby storefront in 1949.

If the pier looks very familiar but you just can't place it, think back to the 1980s. Mel Gibson's character in Tequila Sunrise lived on the beach near the pier. In 1991, Keanu Reeves bought his surfboard from a shop on the pier in Point Break. And in 2004, Ben Stiller's character, Starsky, is seen stretching and running under the pier in the movie Starsky and Hutch. Be sure and make it down to the Manhattan Beach Pier the next time you are in the area. Its long and colorful history provides a little something special for everyone.

WHERE TO STAY? 

The Sea View Inn at the Beach is the closest hotel to the Pacific Ocean in Manhattan Beach, CA! Recently remodeled, our rooms are all unique, comfortable, boutique and chic, and we provide lots of freebies including FREE Wi-Fi, bicycles, beach towels, beach chairs, boogie boards, and beach toys for the kids! Call us today to book your room with a view - 310.545.1504