pier, the Green Pleasure Pier on Catalina Island's city of
Avalon, is the anchor to Avalon, Catalina's biggest city. While
a larger cement pier is the loading and unloading dock for the
numerous boats filled with tourists visiting the island, the
green pier is what you notice when you arrive and when you drive
to the top of the mountain and look down into the cove where the
quaint island's city of Avalon sits. The pier frames the
beautiful, intimate Crescent Beach which connects to the city's
anchor, Crescent Avenue. Practically the only way to begin a
tour of the town is by strolling down Crescent Avenue with its
many shops and restaurants. Vivid art deco tiles that were fired
on the island by the now defunct Catalina Tile Company adorn the
avenue's fountains and planters.
pier is really hard to miss along this stroll and the avenue
strip with its oceanfront views. The green pier, the subject of thousands of
painting and photographs, is alive with the sights of the bay,
people at play in the water below, diners eating fish & chips
and sipping beers, and anglers casting a line to see if anything
not accurately describe the color of the Green Pleasure Pier.
It's overall effect is green, but to envision the color of the
fairways of a golf course would miss the mark. A lime popsicle
would be way off. Take the aquamarine of the Pacific Ocean in
the bay location and inject it with green to come up with a
color that somewhat blends with its surroundings, though its
shade is lighter and more vibrant.
Pleasure Pier is home to the Catalina Island Visitor Center,
several restaurants, restrooms, departing dock for boat tours,
boat rentals and a great place to just sit and people watch.
Avalon pier was built after 1887 by entrepreneur George Shatto.
He defaulted on loans and sold the island in 1892 to the Banning
brothers, whose father General Phineas Banning established
Wilmington on the mainland. They owned it until a devastating
fire in 1915 forced sale to
William Wrigley Jr. In 1934 Wrigley's son, Philip K. Wrigley,
re-designed downtown Avalon. Contracting Otis and Dorothy
Shepard to give Avalon a cohesive, Early California feel, palm
trees were planted, they built a serpentine wall, installed
fountains, changed signage throughout Avalon and developed the
bright color palette used in many building projects, including
Pier Green. Perhaps Philip K. Wrigley's most lasting
contribution was the creation of the Catalina Island
Conservancy, which was given 88% of the Island in the mid-1970s
to protect from overdevelopment and conserve native species.
Dating of the
construction of the Green Pleasure Pier Pier varies by several
sources. Here's what they say: 1) Pier Green or the Green
Pleasure Pier is listed as being constructed in 1910. 2) The
pier was constructed in 1920. 3) The current pier is a
replacement of the original, built by the Department of War in
1907 but destroyed by a winter storm in 1908. The Green
Pleasure Pier is approximately 407 feet long and contains wooden
planks on its causeway.