Santa Monica Pier, 1909
18 Images

Santa Monica Pier: The first 100 years

On Sept. 9, 1909, with a flotilla of naval vessels offshore, crowds swarmed onto the 1,600-foot-long pier for the first time to enjoy concerts, swimming and boating. (Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corp.)
Women wade in the Pacific near the Santa Monica Pier. On Wednesday, the pier turns 100, a milestone that will be marked with ceremonies, performances and the first major fireworks show in Santa Monica Bay in more than 18 years. ()
The Santa Monica Pier provided plenty of excitement even back in 1917. This photo was taken from Ocean Avenue atop the Palisades. ()
A woman perched atop the pier surveys the crowded beach, circa 1920. (Los Angeles Times)
Beachgoers enjoy the roller coaster, shops and restaurants along the Santa Monica Pier, circa 1923. (Los Angeles Daily News)
La Monica Ballroom and the Looff Hippodrome are visible from the mouth of the pier. (Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corp.)
The pier juts out from a densely packed city in 1939. (Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corp.)
The pier’s carousel has long been a favorite among local children. Walter Newcomb, right, purchased what was then called the Looff Amusement Pier in 1943. (Walter Newcomb family)
Vehicles and beachgoers traverse the pier in 1959. (Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corp.)
The pier is packed with crowds in 1969. (Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corp.)
A summery weekend brought throngs of people to the shops, restaurants and beach along the Santa Monica Pier. (Los Angeles Times)
Carousel horses await refurbishing at the Santa Monica Pier in May 1981. (Los Angeles Times)
Restoration plans were already being formulated when a massive El Niño storm destroyed about a third of the structure in 1983. (Los Angeles Times)
A runner crosses below sagging beams after a storm destroyed much of the pier. (Los Angeles Times)
Reconstruction is underway in 1989. (Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corp.)
The damaged portions of the pier had been rebuilt by 1999. (Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corp.)
Fireworks light up the sky over the Santa Monica Pier during a ceremonial lighting of the new Ferris wheel at Pacific Park. The new wheel uses 160,000 energy-efficient LED lights, providing a 75 percent greater energy savings than the previously used incandescent bulbs. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
A month shy of its 100th birthday, the Santa Monica Pier glows against a darkened mountain backdrop. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)