Santa Monica Pier: A Century on the Last Great Pleasure Pier | Jim Harris | Talks at Google | Summary and Q&A

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July 15, 2010
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Santa Monica Pier: A Century on the Last Great Pleasure Pier | Jim Harris | Talks at Google

TL;DR

The Santa Monica Pier, originally built in 1909 as a sewage disposal system, has become a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of the city's identity.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did the Santa Monica Pier start and why was it built?

The Santa Monica Pier was built in 1909 to serve as a sewage disposal system for the growing city of Santa Monica. The city leaders devised the idea of a 1600-foot pipe under the Pier to release treated sewage into the ocean, preventing accumulation on the beaches.

Q: Who played a significant role in saving the Santa Monica Pier from demolition?

The local community, especially activists and citizens, played a crucial role in saving the Pier from demolition. They formed organizations like the Save the Santa Monica Pier Committee and the Santa Monica Citizens Committee to Save the Pier, which fought against city council members who wanted to tear down the Pier for a manmade island.

Q: What are some notable features and attractions on the Santa Monica Pier?

The Pier is known for its iconic Ferris wheel, Pacific Park amusement park, and the famous Thursday night Twilight Dance Series concerts. It also features historical landmarks such as the Looff Hippodrome, which houses a carousel, and the Santa Monica Pier sign.

Q: How has the Santa Monica Pier been restored and revitalized over the years?

The Pier has undergone various restoration projects, particularly in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when it was rebuilt after storm damage. The addition of the police station in 1995 helped improve safety and deterred criminal activities. The Pier's attractions and amenities have been expanded and improved, making it a popular tourist destination.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The Santa Monica Pier, celebrating its 100th birthday, has a long and diverse history, from being a sewage disposal system to a thriving amusement pier.

  • The Pier has faced various challenges, including storms, financial difficulties, and threats of demolition, but has been successfully restored and revitalized.

  • The Pier is now home to the popular Pacific Park amusement park and hosts the famous Twilight Dance Series concerts.

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