St. Petersburg Pier’s dramatic makeover gets green light from city officials

The Pier Park will be a platform for a multitude of smaller and more flexible programs and experiences for tourists and the local community.

July 09, 2015 |
St. Petersburg Pier’s dramatic makeover gets green light from city officials

The new St. Petersburg Pier, The Pier Park. Renderings courtesy ASD/Rogers Partners/Ken Smith

St. Petersburg, Fla.'s city council today formally approved funding and contracts for the redesign of the city’s iconic landmark, the St. Petersburg Pier.

During the meeting, $5.2 million was approved for the finalized design, demolition of the current pier, and initial contracting services. The council approved $1.1 million to finalize design details and another half-million to fund pre-construction work. Demolition work is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

On May 9, the city selected the new pier’s design, a collaborative effort between Rogers Partners (lead designer), ASD (executive architect), and Ken Smith Landscape Architect.

The team's design honors the pier’s eclectic history and transforms it into a 21st-century public place. It extends the urban and recreational features of St. Petersburg into the bay itself. It also reconnects the pier to the daily life of St. Petersburg, tying into the city’s transportation and recreation systems—bike paths, jogging trails, parking location, and public transit systems—as well as new transport options like the Looper Trolley and a potential high-speed ferry.

“To accomplish the vision for a new and revitalized pier,” said Robert M. Rogers, Founder of Rogers Partners, “we are creating a place that embraces the dual role of the pier as both an icon for the city and an integral part of the St. Petersburg Waterfront—a place for tourists and everyday visitors alike, one that honors the pier’s robust, eclectic history while transforming it into a 21st-century public place.”

 

 

Rather than a singular and heavily programmed destination at the pier head, The Pier Park will be a platform for a multitude of smaller and more flexible programs and experiences for both tourists and the local community—from children to seniors, nature lovers to boaters, fishermen to fine diners. It will serve as a hub for activity, not only at the pier head, but all along its length.

The St. Petersburg Pier has been an essential icon in the city since the late 1800s. Throughout its history, it has existed in many forms—the original and highly successful Railroad pier of 1889, the Electric pier, the Municipal pier, the Million-Dollar pier, and finally the most recent iteration, known simply as “The Pier.”

“Each of the pier’s past incarnations had its own set of programs and uses, some more ambitious than others,” commented John Curran, Studio Leader at ASD and Lead Project Manager for the new pier. “The ones that succeeded appealed to both visitors and residents, and were active day and night, throughout the year. This flexibility was essential to our approach to the new design.”

 

 

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