Berkeley Municipal Pier
Berkeley’s original shoreline was about where Second Street and the eastern side of Aquatic Park are located today. In 1853 a private wharf was built at the foot of what is now Delaware Street, and a working waterfront with factories and piers developed along the shoreline later in the century.
This pier, constructed by the Golden Gate Ferry Company under a 1926 franchise from the City, now extends from the Berkeley Marina, which was built on landfill, out into the Bay well beyond the original shoreline. It is a reminder of the earliest urban settlement in Berkeley and a time when goods and people were transported mainly by water. The pier accommodated ferries that carried cars across San Francisco Bay. After big events in Berkeley, such as football games at the University of California, hundreds of cars would back up for hours waiting to board the ferry for the trip back to San Francisco. After the Bay Bridge was completed and opened to automobile traffic in 1936 the pier was converted to recreational use, including fishing. Approximately 3,000 feet of the original 3.5 mile length of the pier remain in usable condition.
Berkeley Historical Plaque Project
Berkeley, Cal., postcard (1905), Sarah Wikander collection.
“Largest Man-made Yacht Harbor in America,” postcard (ca. 1940), Sarah Wikander collection.
Mole and Boats of the Southern Pacific Bay Service, Chamber of Commerce Brochure (ca. 1915), Sarah Wikander collection.
Berkeley Municipal Pier (2010), photo R. Kehlmann.
1908 Newspaper article announcing opening of the new pier, BAHA archives.Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley.
Municipal Wharf (ca. 1915), Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley.