A history of the Pier
A part of Berkeley and San Francisco Bay since 1853
The first pier at the Berkeley shoreline was built by Captain James Jacobs in 1853. Its landing was located roughly where I-880 now runs. That pier was expanded and a second pier added in 1873, partly to support a ferry and freight transport around the Bay.
A much longer pier was built in the early 1900's, initially as a wharf and then expanded in 1926 to provide auto ferry service to San Francisco. The length of that pier was roughly 3 miles (15,000 feet). Upon completion of the Bay Bridge in 1936, ferry service was terminated and the pier was allowed to deteriorate. Due to ongoing structural damage, all but the shoreward 3,000 feet of that pier was abandoned, with a north/south boat passage created at the west end of the remaining usable portion.
Since 1938, the primary usage of the accessible pier was for recreational pedestrians and for fishing, which attracting 50,000 anglers in the first year. Fishing was particularly popular because anglers can fish from a pier without a fishing license, unlike Bay shoreline fishing.
The remaining 3,000 foot Berkeley Pier was closed to the public in 2015 due to additional structural concerns. Replacement was estimated to cost $37 million in early 2023.
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