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Discover More About the Santa Monica Pier

There’s a new  Santa Monica Pier history book in town. And, take it from me, it belongs in everyone’s personal collection. 


Of course, I’m admittedly biased. I am, after all, the author of the new book, Santa Monica Pier: America’s Last Great Pleasure Pier (Angel City Press, 2024), and have been a part of the Pier’s proverbial woodwork for the past 35 years. Over 20 of which I’ve been with Santa Monica Pier Corporation –  that scrappy little non-profit that produces all of the free public events and special programs at the pier. 


The cover of Jim’s newest book. A good gift idea for dad.

I’m joining you all today, not just to promote the new book, but to introduce myself as a new columnist for The Santa Monica Star. And, it’s great to be aboard! I’m looking forward to sharing my inside knowledge about our Santa Monica Pier, highlighting its great event schedule as well as some of its intriguing, multifaceted history.   


For instance, our illustrious Santa Monica Pier originally opened as a public utility, built specifically to carry and dump treated sewage into the ocean. Not exactly an inspiration, right? However, thousands of people showed up on September 9, 1909 – the official opening day – to celebrate the new pier. Why? It was the first pier on the West Coast, and second in the world, made entirely of concrete. Yes, Santa Monica prided itself as being at the forefront of technology, even back in the early 20th century! 


Want to learn more? Make some room on your coffee table and pick up a copy of Santa Monica Pier: America’s Last Great Pleasure Pier now. It’s available in bookstores and gift shops as of May 21, or you can order online at

By Jim Harris

Harris is the Executive Director of the Santa Monica Pier Corporation, a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the pier visitor experience, as well as an accomplished author and playwright.

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