Redondo Beach Pier (Images of America Series)
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Piers have always drawn people to the mysterious wonder of the ocean. The ability to seemingly walk on water with the construction of a pier has created for humans a sense of temporary mastery of the majestic and merciless sea. The Southern California shoreline has always attracted tourists from near and far to experience the natural beauty of the coastline. Capitalizing on the natural and man-made appeal of the ocean and the pleasure pier, Henry Huntington created in Redondo Beach a fantasyland of wonder and excitement for beachgoers in the early 20th century. As one of the major rivals to the pleasure piers of Santa Monica, Ocean Park, and Venice to the north, the Endless Pier and later the adjacent Monstad Pier in Redondo Beach drew in thousands of tourists a day. Pleasure-seekers can still fish, enjoy dinner and music, shop, or simply take a nighttime stroll over the water on today's Municipal Pier--remnants from the heyday of Redondo Beach's pleasure pier of the early 20th century.
Pavilion housed an amusement center, a roller-skating rink, and arcades, but El Paseo was no longer the lively entertainment strip bustling with tourists that it once was. The advent of World War II and especially the bombing of Pearl Harbor caused the United States to place military presence along its western coast. From San Diego to Washington State, the West Coast piers and ports were transformed into military zones. While Redondo Beach did not have a huge military presence in comparison to
for Disney and was to be a big economic boon for Anaheim and the county. To everyone’s surprise, the Magic Kingdom was more popular than originally anticipated. Anaheim’s land value skyrocketed and business boomed immediately. Tourism shifted from Southern California beaches to Disneyland. Redondo Beach’s amusement park setting was already gone, so focus was shifted to redevelopment and a new harbor. Here are two aerial photographs of Municipal Pier in the early 1970s. The 1960s and 1970s was a
complete with saltwater baths. For the truly adventurous, a long, thick rope was attached to the bathhouse, and people could walk into the water while holding onto the rope for safety. The treachery of the ocean was still frightening and mysterious to several. The notion of a pier made solely for the purpose of walking above the water had a tremendous appeal to people, possibly as a metaphor for humanity conquering the sea. The innovative horseshoe-shaped design of the pier was an added
Endless Pier was the victim of a storm that washed away some of its pilings. In October 1916, a new horseshoe-shaped pier was under construction, and it was ready by the spring of 1917. This time, the pier was reinforced with steel pilings that weighed 16 to 20 tons each, and the deepwater pilings weighed even more. Pictured is a shaded settee with benches on the early pier in Redondo Beach. The boardwalk extends in front of the Pavilion and the Plunge by the pier. El Paseo became more popular
the Chautauqua’s general philosophy was to bring entertainment and culture to the whole community. This was typically done with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers, and specialists of the day moving in circuits to locations all around the country. Redondo Beach had laid the original city plan in the shape of an oil lamp, representing a symbol of the Chautauqua philosophy, but that layout can barely be recognized today. The city also built a Chautauqua Meeting House in the shape