The beloved Redondo Beach Pier that tourists from all over the world, and local residents have come to cherish, is quite an interesting story of a landmark that has had it’s ups and downs. From the turn of the century to today, the pier has gone through it all, and has proven thanks to those have sought to keep it afloat, that anything is salvageable.
The first pier, or what is known as “Wharf No. 1,” was built in 1889 and was constructed mainly for shipping of timber and other commodities. It was a typical wooden pier that jutted out over the ocean, but it was not a tourist attraction in any sense. Wharf No. 1 didn’t last long, and was washed away by a storm in 1915. The next try at a pier was a Y-shaped wooden pier that had railroad tracks. But, it too was destroyed after a storm in 1919.
Adjacent to the second wooden pier, the first version of the “endless” pier was constructed in 1916. George W. Harding was the architect that had a dream for tourists. Those who didn’t like sea travel could enjoy the salty ocean air as they walked. He engineered a V-shaped pier that connected to the mainland making it the “endless” pier, as a person could walk around without having to stop and turn back. It is the foundations for the endless pier that stands today. Unfortunately another storm damaged it and made it unsuitable for operation only 12 years later.
Refusing to give up George Harding’s dream, another endless-type pier was built and was opened in 1929. The new wooden pier stayed true to the endless design and also had more tourist attractions than Harding’s first pier. Alongside it, Captain Hans Monstad built a 300 ft pier for commercial fishing where private boats to could dock at. Later it was extended 100 feet and added a sport fishing section which still stands to this day. It wasn’t until 1983 that the Monstad pier and and the second generation endless pier were joined into one continuous pier. The solidarity of the whole Redondo Beach Pier was short lived as a an electrical shortage caused a fire in one of the buildings on the pier which destroyed a majority of the Pier in 1988.
As the years passed, much debate went into building a new pier. Would it be washed away with another storm? Would it attract the tourists but also cater to the locals? It wasn’t until six years after the fire that it was proposed that a new pier be built, but this time it would be concrete. The new pier was connected to the old Monstad pier and featured modern designs and beautification. Thanks to a persistent community and a never-ending dream that was rooted in the past, the city of Redondo Beach was gifted a gem of the sea that will stand the test of time, and be a place of enjoyment for generations to come.