The West Pier, Brighton, E.Sussex.
Posted by: greysman
N 50° 49.160 W 000° 09.109
30U E 700614 N 5633600
Quick Description: Badly damaged by the hurricane of October 1987 and burnt out in 2003 but still an iconic building.
Location: Southern England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 3/14/2012 12:39:57 PM
Waymark Code: WMDZRV
The basic pier was constructed between 1863 and 1866 and opened in October that year. Over the years to 1916 it was widened and other structures built upon it until it was closed due to WWII in 1939. A section was removed to prevent enemy landings in 1940 and wasn't reopened to the public until 1948.
A mixed period followed until 1969 when the threat to close the pier it was granted Grade II* status in order to protect it, but the following year the southern end was closed to the public because of poor maintenance. In 1975 the entire pier was closed but by 1982 it was granted Grade I status and a vigorous period of fund raising enabled the 'root-end' of the pier to be reopened by 1987 but - disaster - it was further badly damaged by the October hurricane.
More grants enabled a scheme for stabalisation and prepare for the start of the full restoration. In 2003 there was a partial collapse of the concert hall, then in March and May followed arson attacks which destroyed the Pavilion and Concert Hall. Funding was then withdrawn and in June 2004 a freak summer storm leaves Concert Hall totally collapsed. All that is left of the walkway from the land are a few of the original pier uprights and a small amount of the cross-bracing. The souther end is a skeleton of twisted girders, all that is left after the arson and storm damage.
The future? in 2006 planning permission was granted to build the i360, a175m high observation tower based at the root-end of the pier, designed by Marks Barfield Architects, the creators of the London Eye, it will open an exciting new chapter for the West Pier.