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From the Archives: Sunset at Redondo Beach pier

Redondo Beach Pier at sunset
Fishing off the end of Redondo Beach Pier at sunset. This photo, from the L.A. Times Archive at UCLA, appeared in the July 22, 1979, edition of the paper.
(Bob Chamberlin/Los Angeles Times)

In 1900, piers lined the Southern California coastline. But age and neglect led to the removal of many of these structures.

This image accompanied an article by Roberta Ostroff published in the July 22, 1979, Los Angeles Times:

“Piers. They were once as symbolic of the Southern California lifestyle as the surf itself. For some, they were Disneyland equivalents in the ’30s and ’40s. For others, commercial endeavors for boaters, fishermen and sea-bound vessels. But for most people, piers have sort of symbolized what some were called — fun zones, places where you could go to shoot the chutes or bait for halibut, or pitch for Kewpie dolls or study the tides and swimmers.

“In 1875, the ‘Shoo-fly’ pier stood where the Santa Monica pier is, a port for San Francisco commercial ships. In 1892, a half-mile north, Collis Huntington built a 4,700-foot wharf. ...

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“By the turn of the century, piers dotted the Southern California coast. Small piers for pleasure and fishing and spectacular piers that could double for opulent movie sets, like the Arabian nights manifestation of Abbot Kinney’s Venice, built in 1905 — and the Frazier pier in Ocean Park, a spire-crazed fun depot that culminated in Pacific Ocean Park. Time, fire and changing tastes saw most of these wooden playgrounds, designed by dreamers, crumble.”


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