Saturday, June 1, 2013

Farewell to The Pier

You may recall seeing The Pier in the background of the art show entry back in April. At that time, we didn't get a chance to walk over there but we did yesterday for the final time.

The Pier in downtown St. Petersburg was built in it's current, inverted pyramid form in 1970 and opened to the public in January 1973. Latest in a long history of various piers on the same bit of land, The Pier as it's officially called, is being torn down for a new replacement known as "The Lens." The Pier needs a lot of repair and city council members felt it was was better to use the money to build something new, rather then invest more money into something dated and damaged.

I put together this little map to give you an idea where The Pier is located. The larger map shows some of the general Tampa Bay Area with the little insert map giving you a better idea of how it juts out into the water.

This sparked a LOT of controversy among St. Pete residents, many of whom didn't want to see The Pier demolished. There's a strong "Stop the Lens" campaign underway and these residents hope that they can force it to go to a public vote. (The city residents didn't get a vote, the city council did both to demo and on the winning design to replace it.) We'll see come August 27, 2013 whether or not the city council agrees that enough signatures were included on the petition to bring it to a public vote or not. There's A LOT of info about the older versions of The Pier, the current battle, the new plans and more here if you're curious:

A shot from the "pier" part and the front of The Pier

In any event, the City of St. Pete is moving forward with their plans to close it which started with the last official day open on Friday, May 31st 2013. We made the trek over there to see it once more and brought Anana with us. It's bittersweet that he'll be the last Little Visitor to ever get his photo taken at this St. Pete landmark!

Thousands of people came throughout the day to visit once more, see the view one last time or to take advantage of extremely cheap sale priced items on whatever was left in the remaining stores inside. Every single news team in the area also showed up with multiple news vans, reporters and cameras and crew all over the place reporting live.

There was a small aquarium on the 2nd floor and this display was in the center on the ground floor atrium as a "teaser."

The view from the top! Looking back at the Downtown St. Petersburg skyline.
(It was pouring when we got there but it did stop eventually so I could get some shots. Everything was puddled and totally wet though!)

Looking out at the view of the Bay from the back of The Pier's top floor. From here, you're looking back towards Tampa.

Lots of people fish from The Pier and they also had a place you could buy food to feed the resident pelicans. They don't know that The Pier is closing down though so they were still hanging around waiting for a handout.

Final shot looking back at The Pier as we head back to the parking lot and our car.

After that, we headed home. Love caught my cold and I'm still coughing up nastiness myself so it was time to say good bye. I can't say I was a massive fan of The Pier but anytime we were in Downtown St. Pete, I did enjoy heading up to the top floor and looking out at the view and taking some photos. I'll miss that. I'm on the fence about The Lens idea and who knows when or even if it will wind up happening. Glad though that we got a chance to say farewell and take one last LV for a tour.

1 comment:

  1. That's so sad that Anana is the last LV to see the Pier... but I'm glad he got to see it before it goes; it looks very neat! Poor unaware pelicans...