July 22, 2015

July 22, 2015

July 25, 2015  |  Local Interest

There is something mysterious and perhaps even romantic about abandoned spaces. The rust and decay can have a certain kind of beauty, and can engage our imaginations as we wonder what the place might have been like in its prime. Movies often employ a time-fade technique where decrepitude is gradually replaced by the life and color of earlier years. A different time.

How strange, then, to witness the day the change happens. The day a familiar site goes from lively to off-limits.

On July 22, 2015, without warning or ceremony, the Berkeley Pier was fenced off and closed to the public. The pier has long been a favorite spot for fisherfolk, runners, strollers, and anyone who appreciates a knockout view and a breathtaking sunset. I always found it a friendly place.

A recent inspection determined that the pier is structurally unsound and unsafe. If the money can be found for the project, the city will rebuild. But frankly, that seems unlikely.

It makes me sad. The pier served us well for almost 90 years. It seems that calls for some little recognition. So here, with gratitude, is a view of the pier.

Click on the first image below to enlarge it and scroll through the slideshow.


  1. I was wondering if you’d share some of your images and so glad you did. It reminds us what photographs can do and why we make them. You will have great memories of the pier but for those of us who never had a chance to experience it, we will visit there through these pictures. Thank you!

    • Thank you, Sabrina. It was quite a shock to learn of the closure — a reminder that things truly can be here today and gone tomorrow. I’m glad I had the chance to savor what the pier had to offer. The photographs seem to strike a chord with others too. It was a special place.

  2. Bravo, what a great story of place. This is the best ‘article’ that has yet appeared in Berkeleyside! Thanks for sharing the photos and words with a wider audience, as I found your website from the reprint in the Bside. Very impressive and expressive. Thanks again.

  3. Thank you for your kind words, Marc. They are much appreciated. I’m so happy that Berkeleyside shared this piece. It seems like a lot of us share fond memories of the pier. I’m glad I could offer this small tribute.

Leave a Reply