Photographs: An ode to the shuttered Berkeley pier

The Berkeley pier was shuttered indefinitely on July 22, 2105 after Berkeley officials determined it was structurally unsound. Photo: Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier was shuttered indefinitely on July 22, 2105 after Berkeley officials determined it was structurally unsound. Photo: Dorothy Brown

By Dorothy Brown

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.


The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown

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.

The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown
The Berkeley pier by Dorothy Brown

This photo essay first appeared on Dorothy Brown’s website, and was reposted here with permission.

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