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Distillery & Tasting Room Articles Distillery Blog Education Articles Spirits Articles | 04/15/19

Putting the Pier Into Perspective

The Huntington Beach pier has gone through a lot in its 105 year history, and we thought it would be fun to trace some major milestones and catastrophes that made the famous Huntington Beach pier into what it is today.

1904: The first municipal pier was built before Huntington Beach was incorporated (1909). It was made out of wood and extended 1,000ft. It was inevitably damaged by a heavy storm in 1910, and a large portion of the pier sank into the Pacific.

A $70,000 bond was approved in 1911 to build a new pier constructed of concrete.

1914: The new 1,350ft concrete pier was re-dedicated and had an impressive record of the tallest & longest pleasure pier in the US.

The pier was extended in 1931 by 500ft and The End Cafe was built.

1933 & 1939: The Long Beach Earthquake in 1933 separated the extended portion of the pier, which was repaired shortly after. A subsequent violent and rare tropical storm in 1939 completed the damage and tore off almost 300ft off the end of the pier.

Repairs were completed in 1940, but the pier was temporarily taken over by the US Navy and used as a lookout for enemy submarines after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

1983 & 1988: Another two destructive years for the pier caused by strong storms. The End Cafe was damaged in the 1933 storm, but they were able to repair and rebuild shortly after adding a second story to the cafe.

The winter storm in 1988 not only destroyed The End Cafe but took the entire building and part of the pier into the Pacific.
The pier was inspected and deemed structurally unsafe after the 1988 storm and close to the public.

1990: The construction of the new pier began after a dedicated group called P.I.E.R. (Persons Interested in Expediting Reconstruction) raised funds by selling t-shirts and merchandise with the P.I.E.R. logo.

The pier as we know it was officially reopened with a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 18, 1992. Over 500,000 people attended and dubbed it the “Pier Fest 92.”

Do you have any cool photos of the pier during its long and tumultuous history? If so, email them to or post them on social media. Tag us @surfcitystillworks

The below sources were used for this blog post (if you find any inaccuracies, please let us know!):
Historic Huntington Beach
OC Historical
Visit Huntington Beach


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