Don’t Pier the Reaper

5 Jul

Downtown St. Petersburg, where I live, has a lot of iconic places.  We have the Salvador Dali Museum, Tropicana Field, Mahaffey Theater and more.  Oh, and then – then – there is another standout icon:  The Pier.  And the Pier is almost doomed to the wrecking ball.

Our “iconic” Pier is, well, let’s just say interesting.

It looks like a cross between an alien mother-ship and an Egyptian pyramid built with Tinker Toys upside down.  A lot of people consider it an eyesore.  But, you know, I like it.  And I’m not alone.  But, back to the way it looks, have a glimpse at its picture.

Above:  It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!  It’s a…..pier?

Here is a cartoon I drew of it for a local publications several years ago.

The Pier is facing the wrecking ball because the pilings underneath it are deteriorating.  It was built in 1973 and it’s getting a little old.  So, the big argument that has been happening for years now is:  A.) Fix the pilings.  B.) Tear it down and build a new one.

I guess the big factor is a money amount of  $50 million.  Do we take the $50 and fix it or build a new one for the same amount?  I’m not sure where that amount of budgeted money came from through the city council, but it seems to be the magic number.  I guess it doesn’t just take several bucks to solve the issue.

As of now, The Pier is gone next year.  It was decided that a new one would be built.  Different architect firms pitched ideas for a new pier to replace it, and the city decided on one.  A rather dumb one, in my honest opinion.  Below is what they came up with.

Above:  Don’t let the digitized fancy image fool you.  It’s pretty lame.

They call it The Lens.  The Lens?  Really?!

There aren’t even any freakin’ shops to it.  Well, I guess their are inland, but not out into the bay.  It’s just a big sidewalk, again, in my opinion (which is shared by others as well).  I don’t like it.

Here’s why I like our current Pier.  Listen, it may look a bit weird.  It may be a bit dated.  But, it’s unique.  And judging not by its looks, it’s very functional.  The place is 100% occupied even.  And when you dine there, go there to shop or just to sight-see, it’s – well – cool.  The views from there are outstanding.  A great experience for us locals to take people and for tourist to enjoy.  Here are some personal photos of me enjoying the place awhile back.

Above:  On top of the spaceship, er – Pier.

Above:  Downtown St. Pete in the distance.  My khaki shorts up close.

So, this week there is a petition going on to save it.  Me, as a registered voter, voted to save it as well.  I hope it does get saved.  Of course, I don’t know the mechanics for fixing it.  Apparently it’s not easy and would be easier to knock it into the bay.  But, if we can go to the moon, I’m guessing we could fix the pilings.

I’ll keep you updated as time goes on what happens to it.  But, if I were you, take advantage of the Pier if you’re in St. Pete while you can.  Because for now, it looks as our “iconic” building will soon become a sidewalk.



4 Responses to “Don’t Pier the Reaper”

  1. gardenfreshtomatoes July 5, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

    Well…it’s more attractive than Boston City Hall. But only because it looks like a spaceship…

    • w101njf July 5, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

      I think it could use a paint job, makeover, etc. But other than that, the current Pier is pretty neat. Haven’t seen Boston City Hall yet…I’ll have to check it out!

  2. bearmancartoons July 6, 2012 at 6:02 am #

    Same price to fix or replace….I say replace but that $50 million will go up 3x

    • w101njf July 8, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

      Oh yea. It would be way more than $50 million. I just hope they keep it. I like our weird pier.

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