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.
Long Beach and San Diego, tourism was certainly affected. Blackouts and military drills were practiced in the city, and it was no longer the bustling tourist attraction of roller coasters and entertainments. Above is an aerial view of Municipal Pier in the 1940s. The Plunge was demolished in 1941, and the Pavilion has been refaced but remains. Below, the Pavilion is being restored with a new facade. The Plunge has already been torn down. Parallel to the decline of the beach resort towns, the
boats and docked yachts where the amusement area once stood. Note that the buildings are still standing on what was once Pacific Avenue. Later, these buildings were replaced by high-rise condominiums. By the 1950s, redevelopment of the pier and King Harbor had begun. Above is the area where the amusement zone along El Paseo once stood. In 1955, Walt Disney proposed that the Magic Kingdom be established in the city of Anaheim in Orange County. The amusement park had been 20 years in the making
constructed in 1888 at the end of Emerald Street. Below is Wharf No. 1 shortly after construction in 1889. Above is a photograph taken in the early 1900s from the north, facing south. In the background is the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The photograph below faces north toward the three wharves from the south. These three wharves helped make Redondo Beach one of the contenders for the Los Angeles Harbor in the late 1800s. Other possibilities included Santa Monica’s Long Wharf to the north and San
exotic fantasyland architecture that was later introduced to the Redondo Beach shoreline. The image above showcases the beautiful Hotel Redondo overlooking the beach, and below is a view of the section of beach just north of the Hotel Redondo. This is the small city of Redondo Beach with an unpaved Pacific Avenue (now primarily condominiums) in the background. In the foreground of the photograph is a steam locomotive that is most likely carrying freight from one of the wharves. Steam engines
1900. The large building on the beachfront is a casino that was later replaced by the El Paseo entertainment area and other amusements that adorned the shoreline in the early 1900s. Fishing was and still is a favorite pastime on the pier at Redondo Beach. Even before the construction of Endless Pier in 1915, fishermen lined the deck of the wharves daily. Here is a picture from around 1900 of a man in Redondo with his catch for the day. After the demolition of these wharves, a man named Capt.