Santa Monica Pier and Carousel Park

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Santa Monica, CA
United States
Santa Monica Pier and Carousel Park

Landscape Information

Beginning as two adjacent piers built in 1909 and 1916, the popular entertainment venue faced demolition in 1973, exacerbated when the piers were partially washed away by destructive storms a decade later. Between 1984 and 1987, architects Moore Ruble Yudell worked on a waterfront redevelopment plan that replaced the pier and created Carousel Park, located just east of the pier and named for the antique carousel displayed at the pier’s entrance. Designed in concert with landscape architects Campbell & Campbell, the park features a stepped, octagonal entryway, an enlarged deck around the carousel, an amphitheater, and a pavilion. A 5,000-square-foot children’s playground occupies the southern edge of the site, featuring a concrete ship and a dragon sculpted from river-washed granite boulders. The pier itself includes Pacific Park, a family-oriented amusement park with a large Ferris wheel, the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, numerous commercial and entertainment venues, and a space dedicated to fishing at the end of the pier. Ocean Park Beach, a 20-acre oceanfront park designed by Campbell & Campbell in the 1980s, extends three miles to the south of the pier. It incorporates a palm-lined, paved pedestrian walk and bicycle path, pavilions and concessions, a dog park, volleyball and tennis courts, and picnic areas.