Ocean Beach Pier Officially Designated as San Diego Historic Resource

by on July 5, 2023 · 6 comments

in History, Ocean Beach

At their June meeting, the City of San Diego Historical Resources Board designated the Ocean Beach Pier as an historic resource.

Here is the description in the July-August newsletter of Save Our Heritage Organization:

Ocean Beach Pier, western terminus of Niagara Street, Ocean Beach, was the longest concrete pier on the West Coast when it was completed in 1966, after years of planning, fundraising, and construction.

Popular ever since with residents and tourists of all ages, the 1,971-foot-long pier attracts sea lovers for strolling, jogging, fishing, and watching the waves and surfers who pass under the expanse, not to mention taking in sunsets.

The pier represents a special element of the historical and economic development of Ocean Beach and the entire city, and retains integrity to its 1966-1977 period of significance, thus fulfilling HRB Criterion A. It also embodies and retains the distinctive characteristics of the fishing pier typology, qualifying it for designation under HRB Criterion C with a 1966-1968 period of significance.

Extending over the deep water of the Pacific Ocean, the pier is constructed of concrete with a smooth concrete walking surface supported by pillars. The designation includes the restaurant building and the 1968 lifeguard watch tower. (Photo courtesy oceanbeachsandiego.com)

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Sam July 5, 2023 at 11:14 am

So does this mean that because it has historical status the design cannot be changed? If so, this is bad news


Chris July 5, 2023 at 4:24 pm

Why is that bad news?


Chris July 5, 2023 at 7:19 pm

Also you understand the pier is ultimately going to be replaced due to structural damage that’s gradually happened over time. There are many articles about it here in the rag.


Sam July 6, 2023 at 11:59 am

It would be bad news if, because of the historical designation, it could only be replaced with an exact replica of what currently stands. In my opinion, part of the degradation of this pier is that it’s downward slope is partly to blame for it’s ultimate demise.

San Diego has an opportunity to create a world class attraction by re-imagining what this pier can be. If it’s design is stymied by the historical designation, the pier will be guaranteed to fail in the same way this one has. We need bold ideas for redevelopment, not the same old luddite mentality that perpetually locks this city into a failed state of 1970’s urban planning.


Chris July 6, 2023 at 7:09 pm

I mean it was commissioned in 1966 so it was bound to reach the pint it has. If it ends up getting completely demolished to make way for a brand new pier, I seriously doubt it will be an exact replica, despite its historical status.


Chris Kennedy July 7, 2023 at 8:49 am

In connection with some research I’ve done on another matter I’ve learned that a designation as “historic” by the San Diego Historical Resources Board puts restrictions on changes and alterations. So, why are they doing this now when there has been so much City action on replacing the current pier?

/s/ Chris Kennedy


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