One of two municipal piers located in the city of Newport Beach, Newport Pier is located at the center of the Balboa Peninsula. Originally known as McFadden Wharf, the pier is 1,032 feet long and continues to be a popular attraction within the city.
The History of Newport Pier
Completed in the summer of 1888, Newport Pier was originally named McFadden Wharf in honor of local landowners James and Robert McFadden. At that time, the wharf served as a shipping connection for the McFaddens, who needed to offload hides, lumber and other merchandise. Two years after the wharf was constructed, the McFaddens connected it to the Santa Ana and Newport Railway to assist with commercial transport into Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
In 1902, the McFaddens sold the wharf to W.S. Collins, who then began to transform the area for both residential and recreational purposes. When the Los Angeles passenger railway was expanded to the wharf three years later, it helped to increase the speed of the development of the city of Newport Beach. Soon, the city became a popular tourist destination.
In 1922, the pier was remodeled by the City of Newport. It continued to serve as a shipping terminus until 1939, at which time the original pier it was destroyed by a hurricane.
Rebuilding the Newport Municipal Pier
Following its destruction in 1939, the Newport Municipal Pier was reconstructed in 1940. It was at this time that it was renamed from McFadden Wharf to the Newport Pier. The pier was also subsequently registered as California Historical Landmark number 794.
Located at Oceanfront Boulevard and 21st Place, Newport Municipal Pier is a popular location for fishing, taking walks and dining. The building that once housed the Newport Pier Grill and Sushi restaurant, which had an outdoor patio called the William Wright Terrace, is located at the end of the pier. In addition to its indoor space, the outdoor patio added 288 square feet to the restaurant and could seat up to 28 people with views of the water.
The Dory Fishing Fleet, which is a beachside fishing cooperative that was founded in 1891, is located at the base of the pier. The base is also home to the headquarters of the city fire department’s Lifeguard division. The fire department runs the Newport Beach Junior Lifeguards program, which operates from the pier. Emphasis is placed on safety, physical fitness, discipline, instruction and respect. The program allows kids to receive basic water training. The program is open to children ages 9 through 15 and all participants must pass a required swim test before enrolling in the program. Participants are schooled in first aide, competition techniques, mutual cooperation and lifesaving methods. The program is one of the most popular recreational programs in Newport Beach with an average of over 1350 participants per year.
Newport Pier also offers stunning views of Huntington Beach to the north and Balboa Pier to the south. The area is a popular location for cycling, skating, surfing and biking, with a lengthy bike trail located nearby and extending around most of the peninsula.