Piering back in history

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Malibu Pier has seen better days. It was declared unsafe and was closed for public use last year after engineers determined that it was “severely deteriorated” and “could suffer catastrophic failure in the event of a severe storm,” according to a recent report completed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

The original pier was constructed at the turn of the century. It served as a place for ships to unload supplies for the Rindge Ranch and to drop off materials used to build the 20-mile Rindge Railroad that ran from Las Flores Canyon to the Ventura County line.

The historic Adamson House Wall, with entrance tower and storage room, located at the land end of the pier, was completed in 1932 and is decorated with historic Malibu tile made at the Rindge family’s pottery factory, which operated a few miles to the south.

In 1934, the pier was opened to the public for pier and charter fishing. Fishermen were also shuttled back and forth from the pier and the barge Minnie A. Caine anchored a mile off shore. The pier was extended to its current 780-foot length, and the first small building was constructed at the ocean end by 1938.

The Rindge family’s Marblehead Land Company sold the pier in 1944 to the aptly named Malibu Pier Company, which a year later built a restaurant and a store where the abandoned Alice’s Restaurant and food preparation building now stand. Shortly thereafter, the second twin building was constructed at the ocean end. These structures were later turned into snack and bait shops. The L.A. County Lifeguard Department currently uses one as an office.

The pier was sold to the state in 1980 and added to the department of parks and recreation. In 1985, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to recommend the pier for registration as a Point of Historical Interest.