A WALK THROUGH HISTORY:
THE EVOLUTION OF THE HERMOSA BEACH PIER
In 1904 the first version of the Hermosa pier was built. It was constructed entirely of wood even to the pilings and it extended five hundred feet out into the ocean. The pier was constructed by the Hermosa Beach Land and Water Company. In 1913 this old pier was partly washed away and later torn down and a new one built to replace it.
The new pier was built of concrete one thousand feet long, and paved with asphalt its entire length. Small tiled pavilions were erected at intervals along the sides to afford shade for fishermen and picnic parties. A bait stand was built eventually out on the end. Soon after, about 1914, an auditorium building was constructed; it has housed various enterprises and at present the public rest rooms, the Los Angeles Life Guard Service, and the local branch of the Los Angeles County Library occupy rooms in the building.
Pier Avenue, originally known as Santa Fe Avenue, had long been the small beach city’s main commercial corridor, wending its way from Pacific Coast Highway to the Hermosa Beach pier. By 1996, new restaurants had begun to move into the area, including Brewski’s, Sangria, Club Sushi, Cafe Sabroso and Patrick Malloy’s Steakhouse. Longtime fixture Hennessey’s Tavern took over a neighboring building as part of a $1 million expansion.
After some debate, the City Council decided to make Pier Plaza a pedestrians-only experience, closing it off from automobiles altogether and removing its 27 parking spaces. A grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new plaza was held on Saturday, Aug. 16, 1997.
Today Pier Plaza is home to many restaurants and shops and is frequented by fun seekers, beachgoers, families, and tourist alike. It is just one of the special things that make our city so wonderful.
Hermosa Beach Historical Society