The History of Piers: From Work to Pleasure

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PiersWho’s ready for a history lesson?  We know history is usually not the most exciting thing in the world.  But it can be very interesting, depending on the subject! Today, we wanted to share some interesting tidbits concerning the history of piers.

When you think of piers today, what is the first thing that comes to mind?  Probably recreation. However, it wasn’t always that way.  Piers were originally built in North America as cargo-handling areas.  These are referred to as “working piers” and were used for loading ships with passengers and/or goods.  With the advancement of technology, passengers and cargo have found other methods of travel.  The freight that does still traverse the seas now uses container shipping and leaves from shipping berths.  Most piers were abandoned, but some have been repurposed for pleasure.

The pleasure pier became popular in England in the Victorian era.  Here there were seaside resorts and piers provided tourists access to the sea, even during low tide.  We are familiar with the use of piers for recreational activities, such as canoeing, swimming, and fishing.  Some pleasure piers even offer other entertainment such as theater, rides, games, or shopping.

One of the most well-known piers in the United States is Pier 39 in San Francisco.  Pier 39 was previously a working pier, but now is a huge tourist attraction with shopping, restaurants, and even an aquarium.  The longest pier in the world is in the Yucatan and is used for cargo, as well as a port for cruise ships, making it a true working pier.

Hopefully you learned something and found it interesting!  At Fender Marine Construction, we love what we do and the history behind it.  If you would like to know the benefits of having a pier built on your property, contact us today.  We can expertly design and construct a pier for you that will last.

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