The ocean pier is a time-honored cultural and recreation tradition in American beach communities. The pier typically housed restaurants, a dance hall, snack shops, penny arcades, and places for people to fish. It was the fun place to foregather after sunning in the sand, eat hotdogs, and play arcade games.
Atlantic City, New Jersey
|Heinz Ocean Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey, after the September 1944 hurricane (photographer unknown, Beach Erosion Board Archives)|
This is the remains of the Heinz Ocean Pier, also known as “The Sea Shore Home of the 57 Varieties,” in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The September 1944 hurricane tore off much of the famous boardwalk and part of the pier. It was demolished after the storm.
Old Orchard Beach, Maine
Old Orchard Beach is a popular tourist destination in southern Maine. Its famous pier first opened to the public on July 2, 1898. This original pier suffered from storms over the century, and the Great New England Blizzard of '78 washed away the remnants. From gothavelmaine.com:
The middle of the century saw the heyday of the Pier Casino Ballroom, which held as many as 5,000 people. The Ballroom was noted for its moving picture shows and live entertainment, featuring acts such as Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Guy Lombardo, and Benny Goodman. Over the years, a series of storms ebbed away at the pier causing the casino to be razed in 1970. Then the great blizzard of 1978 destroyed what was left of the pier. The Pier, as we know it today, was re-opened in 1980, and houses many fine shops and restaurants. The current Pier stretches 500 feet into the Atlantic Ocean. The wooden walk way is lined with souvenir shops, food vendors, restaurants and a night club at the end of the pier.
The view under a pier is a photographic cliché, but it is fun nevertheless. This is the new (1980) pier.