Pier Pzazz

The fishing pier culture along North Carolina’s Outer Banks dates back to 1939, when the Jennette brothers acquired property in South Nags Head and began construction on Jennette’s Pier. The original site incorporated the cabins originally used by U.S. Civil Works Administration workers. The workers lived on the site while constructing protective sand dunes from Corolla to Ocracoke. The cabins (no longer existent) were converted for use by fishermen who traveled to fish from the new pier.

There are currently seven piers from Kitty Hawk down to Avon on Hatteras Island. For me as a teenager, each pier had its own distinct character – with game rooms and a cast of regulars. As far as fishing from a pier is concerned, well, let’s just say piers still are a distinct experience.  Jennette’s Pier – now rebuilt as a brand new technological achievement that is part of the North Carolina Aquarium Society, stands apart in many ways. Massive – but architecturally beautiful – with other engineering features such as an on-site waste-water treatment facility and three wind turbines providing half of the facility’s energy. Let’s make a current comparison of  the old & the new:

The Nags Head Pier while Hurricane Katia churns the ocean offshore North Carolina. One of the oldest piers on the Outer Banks - continually rebuilt or reinforced after major storms.
The new Jennette's Pier: Massive, but attractive, multi-functional and efficient.
I guess engineers have a pretty good idea by now how long steel-reinforced concrete can hold up to the force & corrosive effects of salt water. (Jennette's Pier shown during Hurricane Katia's offshore churn.)
Under the Outer Banks Pier during Hurricane Katia's offshore churn. The construction looks like toothpicks compared to the new Jennette's Pier.
Under Jennette's Pier during Hurricane Katia's surf. Lots & lots of concrete.

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