Sta. Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier is truly a beautiful place perfect for family recreation, weekend vacation as well as walking just around the beach enjoying the cool wind breeze with just the sound of the wave dominating one’s ears.  The many amazing amusements centers provide not only pleasure but an experience of inner refreshment as well as mind relaxation.

  If one visits the place, the panoramic around the community, and the monumental buildings might caught our attention and wonder the creative mind of those who designed or had planned this world class amusement center.But behind the beauty of Santa Monica Pier is the shadow of the past which could have annihilated all these that any visitor enjoyed at Santa Monica.  First, the severe weather that turned down the roller coaster built in 1920s, the controversy of corruption due to enormous gambling which led to what newspaper calls it “the battle of Santa Monica Bay.”  And the collapsed of the popularity of the pier in the 1960s almost led to the destruction of Santa Monica residents and their campaign to save Santa Monica.These residents joined hands to probably using their own resources to save Santa Monica.  All these, however, are merely shadows of Santa Monica today.  Deeper analysis reveals more about the people who had the vision of Santa Monica and turning it to reality.

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This paper intends to provide an analytical study of the Santa Monica Pier, the people behind its construction and its significance in the community where it is situated.Historical BackgroundAccording to Kathy Weiser, the first white man to set fact in what would one day become Sta. Monica, California was Gaspar de Portolo and his men on August 3, 1767.  Not long when the area were filled with Rancho and owned by prominent and rich families.  In 1874, Nevada Senator John P. Jones purchased large parcel of land which he then sell during the following year that paved the way of the birth of Santa Monica.  There were two stories concerning the newly founded town was named.  The first was, in honor of the feast day of Sta.

Monica, and the second tale says, “dipping spring in the area reminded early residents of the saints’ tears” (Weiser).By 1885, Abbot Kenney acquired the coastal portion which he developed and named it Ocean Park.  Kenney went on to develop the area to become an amusement park and residential project.  But controversy burst out when the southern Pacific railroad arrived at Los Angeles over “where to locate the sea port.”  Santa Monica subsequently won and the long wharf was established in 1893 “accommodating large ships and was dubbed Port Los Angeles.  Despite the construction of the railroad, Santa Monica maintained its scenic charm and the railroad was in use from 1891 to 1933.

During the 20th century, amusement pier became very popular and the pacific railroad proved to be of great significance, transporting people to the beaches form across Greater Los Angeles.  Because of the enormous popularity of Santa Monica Pier, the population increased from 15,000 to 32,000 “at the end of the decade.”  That decade also saw the construction of some important buildings such as Hershey’s Department Store and the Cuterior Theater.

  During the following decade, the construction of more buildings boomed.  La Monica Ball Room opened which according to Microsoft Encarta, became the site of many first time national radio and television broadcast.  But the severe weather of 1926 almost destroyed the pier and the ballroom needing major repairs after which has brought change.  Microsoft Encarta cited that the roller coaster which Charles loof has built torn down, and the La Monica Ball Room eventually closed its doors” in 1957.Back in 1930, Weiser pointed out that Santa Monica was infected by corruption; Weiser said that “beginning in 1928, gambling ships started anchoring in Santa Monica.

”   There were also water taxis that brought gamblers from Santa Monica and Venice, which the largest ship according to Weiser – the S.S. Rex, was capable of holding 3,000 gamblers at a time.  Eventually, these gambling operations were shut down after a nine day of battle which was known to newspaper as the “battle of Santa Monica Bay.”From 1958 up to 1968, the glitters of Santa Monica Pier had faded.  Weiser said that the last of the great amusement piers, the Pacific Ocean Park opened in 1958.  But despite its initial success attendance plummeted and by 1967, the park was foreclosed because of back taxes.  The once glittering amusement center became “rotting, an unattractive attractive nuisance in 1974” (Weiser).

  But the Santa Monica residents joined hand together “to fight for the survival of the pier.  These residents created a slogan campaign that said, “Save our Pier forever” which resulted to the city council adoption of Santa Monica Development Program which facilitated the renovation and beautification of the Pier.  The program added a variety of retail, dining, and entertainment attractions which paved the way for the Santa Monica to become at once, a world class Pacific Park and Amusement Center.Analysis of the SiteSanta Monica Pier is located at the foot of Colorado Boulevard in Santa Monica, California.  It houses Pacific Park, an amusement park with a large ferries wheel, a carrousel which was built in 1920s, an aquarium, shops, and entertainments, arcade, restaurants and many more.  Its location site which is at the beach front is perfect for family recreation and as Kimberly Rily puts it, “the biggest attraction for many vacations is location.”  It is indeed a fantastic site because it offers variety of options for anyone.  The beach area could be the main factor because as Rily pointed out, “natural oceans, bays, lakes and gulfs are natural attractions in and of themselves.

”  The fact that many have invested large money for business simply mean that the site is good and potential for business because, thousand people are really attracted by the natural beauty of the site on weekends.  Even the amusements living the road going to the pier can steal one’s attention and compromise to the excitement that awaits everyone who dare to indulge themselves to the pleasure that can be experienced.  As Rily again pointed out, “the Santa Monica Pier is a refreshing break from your intensive, all day, expensive theme parks.

”  She emphasized that when “things get too crowded and noisy, you can just turn around and look into the calm, blue ocean, and after all the hustle and bustle, you can walk down a flight or stairs spread a towel on the sand and relax to the sounds of waves” (Rily).The site is truly great because it provides every one the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of nature right there at the amusements center.  The site can provide inner refreshment and peace to those who are seeking test of mind from the daily pressures and demands of everyday work that demands most of our time and strength.Because of its natural beauty which were enhanced by the different amusement areas of Santa Monica came to be known as “Paradise by the sea” by both locals and travelers from around the world” (Weiser).  Santa Monica Pier has several attractions but most notably is its beautiful view of sunrise and sunset.Commerce and CultureCommerce and culture of Santa Monica can be attributed to the amusements they were known perhaps all over the world.

  As Kimberly Rily noted, “Board walks, piers and seaside attractions are part of our national culture and history.”  Commerce depends on tourists because most of their business establishments are related to providing amusements and pleasure to tourists from all across California and other parts of America and the world.  The promotions of these establishments on television commercials or in shooting a film confirm the significance of tourists visiting Santa Monica Pier in their commerce.  Thus, the Santa Monica Pier is significant to the Santa Monica town for their revenues, as well as it promote the Santa Monica all over America and the world.CommunityAccording to Kathy Weiser, the population of Santa Monica during the 1920s was about 15,000.  The nationwide prosperity which was also experienced in Santa Monica has contributed to the increase of the community for it doubled the population from 15,000 to 32,000.There are several problems that the community faces.

  People leave garbage around which usually end up in the ocean that damages the environment.  The parking also pours complaints for it is quite far from the pier.  But within the Santa Monica Pier, there is a community not probably of individual person but a business community which provides the amusement among tourists.  There is the La Monica Ballroom which is capable of holding 10,000 dancers; there is also the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium which can seat 3,000 individuals.  The Pacific Ocean Park and Santa Monica town community however, were quite prosperous.

Urban ArchitectureThe architectural design of the Santa Monica Pier and other established is truly wonderful.  The designs were able to combine nature and manmade attractions all at one place and beautifully housed them under one specific place.  The designs of most of the buildings were internationally renowned.  The 3,000 seats of Santa Monica Civic Auditorium according to Weiser, was designed in the international style by Welton Becket, which was opened in 1958. The Design of the Built-in EnvironmentThe environment of Santa Monica is quite well planned.

  The beach front was maintained despite massive construction of buildings and other business establishments.  The streets are fine, and the environment really provides a panoramic view which one can really appreciate.  The amusement edifices which is literally above the water and the sequence of this establishment towards Santa Monica Pier, really artistically designed for comfort and refreshment.Ethnographic Field Work Research (Analysis of the Place)The Santa Monica Pier and all that it offers to the public such as the beach, the parks, the entertainments where designed specifically for public use.  The fact that entry into this world class amusement center is free and anyone can walk down any where without obligation is already a nation of freedom and therefore a public place.  Although for revenue purpose, some entertainment is meant for a fee.  Nevertheless it is still designed for public use.Santa Monica is a large area that can accommodate thousands of people without being crowded.

  The beach, the park and the entertainment, as well as the malls are enough to accommodate everyone without hustles.Everyone is obviously excited about the pleasure the place is giving.  There might be some complains in the park which according to one visitor of the park, “the homeless people outnumbered the tourists” (Rily).  But generally people do not mind each other because everyone is busy exploring with their eyes the beauty of Santa Monica.According to Rily, many people would visit Santa Monica not because it is something quite different place.

  She said that people would come because the place was often used for TV commercials and film shooting.  To many, it is the ocean that creates perspective on tourists and the locals.The local breeze, the beautiful beach, and the parks are really that people come to pie, although the amusements, the entertainments, the malls and everything enhanced the beauty of Santa Monica Pier,What Areas are Hidden?There is definitely no hidden place in the pier except probably the Camera Abscura, although it is close and dark according to Penelope, inside can be seen through the camera.

  But who knows if there are private rooms hidden to the public inside this building.