Belmont Veterans Memorial History

The original Belmont Pier was built at approximately 39th Place in 1915 at a location know as “Devil’s Gate” for an off shore rock below the bluff. In 1967 the new concrete Pier opened, east of the old wooden pier, which remained until after construction. The Belmont Plaza Pier area includes the plaza connecting the pier to 39th Place. The Pier is 1,800 feet long and 24 feet wide, with an enlarged hexagonal area at the seaward end, and two wings extending 120 feet east and west. A structure at the end of the pier housed a snack bar on the ground floor and lifeguard offices and restaurant on the second floor. Second story uses were discontinued in the 1980’s.

Efforts to enliven and restore the pier have been discussed since the Local Coastal Program in 1980 provided development incentives along 39th Place. This lead to the development of a restaurant adjacent to the Pier Plaza in the 1980’s with part of Pier Plaza used for outdoor dining. In the 1990’s, Parks, Recreation and Marine, with funding from the Los Angeles County Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond Act of 1992, developed a renovation plan that included replacing the building at the end with a three story restaurant, repairing lighting and plumbing systems, repaving the pier deck, expanding the parking lot and rerouting the beach bicycle path over instead of behind the pier. Lighting and plumbing systems were repaired, the parking lot expanded and bicycle route relocated by 2005. The plaza deck was repaved and planter areas doubled in 2008. Other ideas, such as a carousel were investigated, but not included in the plan.

In 2000, Long Beach Transit proposed the construction of a stop at Belmont Pier for the Aqua-link water taxi that runs from Rainbow Harbor and the Queer Mary to Alamitos Bay. This was combined with a program to restore the storm damaged fishing boat landing in 2005. The City Council authorized construction to begin in February 2009.

In 2001, the pier was renamed Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier to honor Long Beach area veterans. In 2002 a memorial was designed on the pier’s west wing with flags for all military branches, and an obelisk with the military oath. Medallions along the pier deck would honor individual veterans while benches would commemorate significant battles. The design was not implemented as the Coastal Commission could not permit the obelisk in the water and the pier could not structurally support the poles and flags. Some benches and medallions have been installed as of 2009.

In 2004, the concessionaire Beach Ventures, Inc. was selected to run the pier’s commercial operations. They added a welcome kiosk, additional recreational equipment rentals and 8 out of 45 planned new mooring buoys for visiting vessels. Future plans call for the renovation of the building at the pier’s end as a restaurant.

Back to Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier web page