Frequently Asked Questions - Municipal Pier Closure
Completed in 1933 to create a protected cove where San Francisco residents could safely swim and recreate, Aquatic Park Pier (also known as “Municipal” or “Muni” pier) is now a deteriorated historic landmark impacted by age, tide, and earthquakes. Although built strong, decades of standing against winter storms, pounding waves, and earthquakes have significantly weakened this 1400-foot walkway over San Francisco Bay. The pier was closed in October 2022 due to structural damage from an earthquake. Prior to its closure, the pier provided unparalleled pedestrian access into the bay. Despite its closure to pedestrians, the pier continues to function as a tidal energy dampener. It continues to contribute as a significant feature of the Aquatic Park National Historic Landmark District.
Muni Pier was constructed on the site of the former U.S. Army Quartermaster’s Pier at the northwest corner of Black Point Cove. Designed to support recreation in this part of the city, it also incorporated an innovative baffle system that mitigates the effects of the bay currents on Aquatic Park Cove. The pier included electrical power lines for lamps along the length of the structure, and water conveyance infrastructure for a convenience and lifesaving station, which was planned for the end of the pier but never completed.
The baffles incorporated into the pier serve as a breakwater, absorbing energy from the bay’s tides and pacifying the cove’s water. Some riprap has been added over the years to act against scouring at the mud line.
Curvilinear with a round bulb-like end, the pier consists of a concrete deck road supported by reinforced concrete and jacketed wood pilings. Concrete curbs along the outer edges of the roadway served both as a conduit for utility pipes and a divider between vehicles and pedestrians.
Benches (also made from concrete) and streetlights are located at even intervals along the length of the pier. The pier railing was designed to accommodate the placement of the concrete benches and to provide easier fishing access.
During the military’s use of the park between 1942 and 1948, a U.S. Army tug collided with the pier, causing severe structural damage. Repairs were made in 1947 and the pier was returned to the city in early 1948. The pier was also seriously damaged again on February 3, 1953, when rammed in a heavy fog by a freighter.
(Excerpted from the 2010 Aquatic Park Cultural Landscape Report. The complete report is available for download here.)
Last updated: December 5, 2022