At 1,971 feet, Ocean Beach is believed to be the longest concrete pier in the world. The Northern arm of the finishing T is 193 feet long, and the Southern arm extends 360 feet. In the original construction plan they were the same length; but when building was already underway, a group of enthusiastic San Diegans raised $92,000 more to extend the arm and so increased the pier's fishing capacity. Because of this addition, the pier has a full mile of rail space.
I was a Test Engineer, employed at the General Dynamics Kearny Mesa facility from spring of 1977 to the beginning of summer of 1978. I worked on the Cruise Missile program there until GD and the Navy got into a budget spat, which caused me to be laid off. It was around this time that my best friend from our home state of Delaware, Malcolm Shealy, came to visit me in OB (I used to live at 5171 Long Branch, one building from the park & beach.).
Some years ago a wonderful improv group called The Grunion Players used to perform on weekend evenings in the OB Pier cafe. Great venue for the half dozen actors and good food/beverage sales for the restaurant. Wish the present owners would get together with someone from the OB Playhouse and start something when the railing is repaired and the pandemic ends.
Several years ago my mother stayed at the Ocean Beach Hotel and she fell in love with the amazing pier. It was the topic of many conversations that she would have for years that followed.
A joint venture between Lykos & Coldhammer Architects & Engineers and Ferver - Dorland & Associates Structural Engineers. Site Plan information. Including soundings & water lines, taken from City of San Diego Engineering Dept Drawing titles "Soundings of Pacific Ocean between Point Loma Avenue & Loring Street & Westerly Portion of Mission Bay between West Point Loma Blvd. and San Fernando Place" and dated July 31, 1940.
Ralph Teyssier, a structural engineer and the son of OB Pier contractor Leonard Teyssier, gave a wonderful presentation to the OB Historical Society about the pier's structure, engineering, and construction in July 2016.
View the slides from the presentation (PDF).
View the presentation as a Power Point (PPTX).
Ocean Beach enjoyed a wonderful OB Pier 50th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, July 2! Thanks so much to everyone who visited the pier and wished it a happy birthday.
Thanks to Teeter for hosting a wonderful reception for this show celebrating the #OBPier's 50th anniversary. Food was generously provided by Raglan Public House, OB Noodle House Bar 1502. BBQ House OB, Four Seasons Foods Catering, and Mother's Saloon. Desserts were provided by Beach Sweets and The Cravory. Beer was provided by Mike Hess Brewing Ocean Beach. Wine was on offer from Gianni Buonomo Vintners. We were delightfully serenaded by Rock and Roll San Diego and John Tafolla (John's band played the OB Pier's opening celebration in 1966!). Photography by Troy Orem Photography. THANKS SO MUCH to everyone who contributed to this wonderful event!
"Nothing but fond memories...."
"I'm an OB raised kid and have many fond memories of the OB pier. I have lived in various places around OB and still call it home at 30 years old. Catching sharks at night with my dad, watching sunrises and sunsets and late night strolls. The best memory I have, is my high school sweetheart proposing to me..."
"Being a mailman, on my day off and Sundays I watched the pier being built.
Shortly after the completion of the OB Pier on a weekend-Saturday night- at midnight, a young man who had been drinking..."
"Grew up in San Diego, born in 1960. Thought OB was -- 'is' the best place in the world to grow up. When the pier opened on opening day..."
"I came to OB in Feb. '71 w/o knowing anything about San Diego. My then-husband and I bought a newspaper and saw ads for agencies to help one find a place to rent. We went to one, and he had a big map of the city on a wall, and he pointed out with a big pointer, the different areas in SD. He pointed to one area and said 'this is where the now-generation is living', and we liked that..."
"The 1st time I came to California, the 1st beach I visited was Ocean Beach, & I fell in love forever. I loved the hustle & bustle of everyday living at the beach. My favorite street is Newport Ave & I love the Sunset Cliffs area. Ocean Beach is the greatest, people are friendly, there's always something interesting going on, & the Sunsets are spectacular, love walking on the pier..."
"My family moved to Ocean Beach 56 years ago, when I was 6. We lived on Abbot Street when the pier was being built. I remember by the time I was around 10 or so, I would leave the apartment in the morning during the summer and didn't have to report back home until 'the street lights came on'! What a great time to be a kid who loved to body surf.
When the pier was completed I was 12 with a 15 year old attitude..."
"The pier afforded me my first job at the age of 16 as a tram driver. I worked ferrying sightseers and fishers from one end to the other the summer the pier opened. It was a great first job being outside and able to socialize with all the people..."
"My friend, Michael, took me to the pier and we walked and talked while we shared stories, thoughts and ideas one sunny October day. It was a great afternoon that started at the local co-op, Ocean Beach People's Organic Food Market with lunch and shopping. We got to see the many pier views and sights, and came to know each other..."
"We lived on the pier block of Niagara in 1976..."
"My 'story' is quite simple: I love starting my day with sunrise walks on the pier..."
Joshua Adam Parsons and Corie Ann Parsons were married on the OB Pier in October 2015 following a dancing flash mob performed by local fun-loving folks. When asked why they selected the OB Pier as the spot for their nuptials...
"My first husband and I left South Bend, IN and came to OB in Feb., '71. We must have walked the pier almost weekly for many of those first years, and it was a 'must do' with any visitors. One time it was a foggy day, and after a certain point on the pier, we couldn't see land..."
"I attached a photo. That picture is about 35 years old and is the most treasured one I have. My brother found that picture about 5 years ago and scanned it into a digital copy. That is me on the left with my dad and my brother around 1979. I am 10 at the time of the pic. I am 46 now and my dad passed away 15 years ago. When I saw that, I knew immediately.... Holy S#!^ We are on the freakin OB pier!! I grew up and lived in the IE at the time..."
"The first time my best friend Dianne brought me to OB, I fell in love, and every since, every Sunset, every Sunrise that I'm able to see reminds me how truly blessed I am to have made OB my home..."
"On September 19th, 2013 my husband proposed to me at the end of the pier. It was about 9:30pm and we strolled along the pier, under the full moon, until we reached the bench at the very end, where we had sat years earlier and decided to move to San Diego. We sat there laughing and talking, watching the moon dance on the waves. We could hear the bagpiper, who often plays on the streets in OB, play sweet songs to the night. Once my then-boyfriend finally got enough courage to ask the big question, I already knew what it was. Of course, I said yes and ..."
"My daddy used to take me there fishing. He taught us kids how to hook blood worms & fish. Although Dad will be gone 3 yrs come Jan 8th, it is still my favorite fishing & dreaming spot..."
The Ocean Beach Municipal Pier, one of the most visited landmarks in San Diego County, was officially christened and introduced to eager San Diegans on July 2, 1966. Currently as of May 6th the OB pier is currently closed for repairs.
Click here to watch a video by Trevor Watson.
Click here for more information about the OB Pier and it's re-opening.
Learn about the history, construction, and opening weekend celebration for the Ocean Beach Pier. This video, filmed and produced by local OB resident Matthew O'Connor, features Leonard Teyssier, contractor for the OB Pier, and Chuck Bahde, who headed up the committee that commissioned the pier, and historical footage of the opening weekend in 1966...
Local photographer Stephen Rowell has generously shared this image of the OB Pier's opening celebration on July 2-4, 1966. The festivities included a parade, a talent contest, a variety show, and a sand castle competition, among other activites...
Page through the original program for the OB Pier's Opening Celebration from July 2 through 4, 1966!
The OB Pier at the end of Niagara Avenue was not the first attempt at creating a fishing spot in Ocean Beach. Prior to the pier's opening in 1966, OB boasted two other structures that stretched into the water and provided a location for fishing: the Mission Bay Bridge and the Del Monte Ave Pier.
Leonard Teyssier, contractor for the OB Pier, has generously shared these images of the pier being built in 1965 and 1966, courtesy of his company Teyssier & Teyssier.
The San Diego Union (now the San Diego Union-Tribune) reported that 7000 people attended the official opening of the Ocean Beach Pier the first weekend of July 1966. This press clipping shows photos and captions about some of the weekend's events.
Leonard Teyssier, the contractor whose company Teyssier & Teyssier built the OB Pier, has generously shared these images of the pier from the air.
"My father-in-law Mike Sturak was the Resident Engineer from San Diego Engineering Department for the pier construction and while he held other major responsibilities such as for the Sewage Treatment Plant on the end of Point Loma, the pier was the work he was most proud of. He spent week ends and evenings during construction walking the pier and making sure that all was done just right..."
Local photographer Jim Grant has generously shared some of his stunning images of the OB Pier...
Local photographer Joe Ewing has generously shared some of his stunning images of the OB Pier.