Venice Beach’s original pier stood at the end of Windward Avenue, a mile north of where Venice’s present day pier now juts into the ocean at Washington Boulevard. Abbot Kinney, a wealthy tobacco mogul, began construction on the first pier in 1904. In early 1905, it was demolished by two severe storms. In order for it to be rebuilt in time for Kinney’s unveiling of the “Venice of America” on July 4, 1905, one thousand men worked around the clock. When finished, it was 900 feet long, 30 feet wide, and featured amusement rides. The more than 1,300-foot long pier you see on Washington Boulevard today has also undergone a series of disasters. Originally constructed in 1963, it was so badly damaged by the El Nino storms of 1983 that it was slated for demolition. Venice lacked city funding to repair the pier, and it was deemed unsafe after a jogger was paralyzed by a piece of falling concrete. A chained gate was erected and a sign was posted warning people to stay away. Eventually, residents of Venice rallied to save it and voters allocated $10 million for the renovation of Venice’s Ocean Front Walk, which included the Venice Pier. In 1997, it reopened to the public. Today joggers and sightseers enjoy beautiful views of the Santa Monica Bay; fishermen reel in California halibut and Pacific mackerel; and locals ride the waves at the surf-spot alongside the pier called Venice Breakwater.