Photography Challenge with Sue Karski

A Weekly Photo Themed Blog

Week 6 – #21 – It Happens Over Time

on September 12, 2014


This is the now closed St Pete Pier.  Time has not been kind to the supports for the pier.

It was called the inverted pyramid of five stories of shops, restaurants and an aquarium that drew many tourists. Not only for all the offerings inside the building, but also for the fishing and the views of St. Petersburg, FL from the top of the structure.  It was built in 1973  Now due to structure deterioration of the sub-structure, the pier is closed.  The city planned on demolishing it and building a new “lens” structure which is very controversial.  In August 2013, there was a vote to stop moving forward on “the lens”.

This site has been the host for a number of piers – starting with the Railroad Pier in 1889, then replaced with the Electric Pier in 1906 which extended 3,000 feet into the bay.  The Electric Pier was replaced in 1914 with the Municipal Pier which was severely damaged by a hurricane in 1921.  The Million Dollar Pier was dedicated in 1926 which had a casino.  It was demolished in 1967 and the site remained vacant until the Inverted Pyramid was built in 1973.  So what is next for the pier? We will have to wait to see what St Pete’s residents decide.  I am missing the restaurants and the views from the pier, but at least now you can walk around it and people are fishing from it again.


44 responses to “Week 6 – #21 – It Happens Over Time

  1. Whoa!? It’s closed now??? I had no idea. Used to love going to the Colombia there.

    • Sue Karski says:

      Ahh yes. It has been closed since the end of May. They just opened up the fences so you can walk back out there. Cars are not allowed, but you can walk out. Sorry, you will have to go to another Columbia restaurants.

  2. preed913 says:

    I didn’t know it was closed either … I like the sepia treatment … looks a whole lot better than those colored “bits” … I googled “the lens” – frankly I rather like it!

    • Sue Karski says:

      Unfortunately, because part of the design was a view of a tampa bay reef and the harbor is not clear enough to view it, so it would not work. How do you design something like that and not check out the water there before proposing that?

      • preed913 says:

        how indeed!! – my husband reminded me the other day of a pool built a few years ago in England that was a couple of inches too short to be an Olympic sized pool – dear oh dear!!

  3. painrxsam says:

    Well presented for the theme,

  4. Marie Lough says:

    It’s too bad the pier has had to undergo so many changes. It was always an interesting place to visit. I’m glad to hear that you can at least walk out to it right now while decisions are being made. Great idea for your photo. Thank you for the history.

    • Sue Karski says:

      Yes, I agree. Just being a “tourist” and enjoying this pier with the wonderful restaurants and views and then losing the restaurants it doesn’t seem that this pier is that old, but I am hoping they make a decision and get the new version built soon so we can have these things back again.

  5. karenelee says:

    Cool technique you used. Adds to the “ghostlyness” of the place. The story of its history made your image come alive.

  6. Nice photograph – I’m sorry I missed this when we visited. Never enough time!

  7. George says:

    Nicely presented Sue. The history is super. Unfortunately, although having taken pictures of the pier, we never actually toured it..

    • Sue Karski says:

      Sorry to hear that George. They had some good restaurants and going to the top – you could take nice sunset photographs and on those days when everything lines up, the sun would set right on 2nd between the buildings. They call that Manhattanhenge in NYC. St Pete didn’t have a name that I knew of for this.

  8. gwong1 says:

    Sue, You continue to knock it out of the park. Very nice image, you have to share your techniques sometime. I know it has been different piers from time to time, but never knew it has been so many. Gary

    • Sue Karski says:

      Thank you again Gary. Not really much, I want to spend more time on this using channels as I feel it might work up real nice, but for this post this is all I did –
      This was just taken as an HDR, keep the settings neutral, then back to lightroom for a little clarity, then to NIK Silver effects PRO. Add a vignette and and torn border.

  9. Mindy Towns says:

    I didn’t realize there had been so many different things in it’s place. I hope the city doesn’t wait to long. Nice shot!

    • Sue Karski says:

      Thank you. Neither did I, but this is another part of this 52 week theme thingie – in that for I want to present the why for the theme which means doing research not just photography. And so many other people have done that as well. I have learned so much around our area (and elsewhere) from the participants in the challenge.

  10. Nice shot, nicely presented!

  11. Interesting history, and must have been an interesting place to visit too, in its day!

    • Sue Karski says:

      I would love to have seen the Electric Pier and the Million Dollar Pier but both were before my time. I could imagine the Model T Ford rolling down the pier pulling up in front of the casino.

  12. Terry says:

    I hope they decide pretty soon how they will re-build the pier. It is such a beautiful view, almost suspended over the water. I also liked your sepia treatment.

  13. elifamily2 says:

    Really love this shot and what you have done to enhance it. It is sad the city was forced to close it because of structural problems. Maybe next time the engineers will design something that will last more than 40 years.

  14. tnwaltz says:

    I never knew the history of this special place. Very interesting indeed.

    • Sue Karski says:

      I did not know the history either until yesterday. As I told Mindy, this is an off-shoot of the challenge, it makes me do some research as well. (not to mention – what I have learned from other participants in the challenge.)

  15. Susan Piper says:

    Nice image and I like the processing. Your mini history lesson was very informative. Thanks.

  16. I love your photo. It’s got a dot of drama and it’s nostalgic in mood. It reminds me that I managed to go there once with my daughter for lunch. It was a riot. Birds kept diving around us hoping to get a bit to eat.
    And thanks for all the history.

  17. shelby1120 says:

    Our postings have come a long way. The beginning, we mostly just had the image with the theme. Then a few added metadata, but since that changes by the minute, it is not always educational. But adding personal thoughts and/or history to our posts has made for good,viewing.

  18. I love how you shot this Sue and the sepia tone is perfect it give a nice old fashion look. I love this pier and didn’t know they closed it down. I hope it opens again!

  19. hydragirl818 says:

    A piece of history that someone thought they could improve on.

  20. lcartlidge62 says:

    It’s been years since I’ve been there, but I loved the aquarium! So sad that the construction didn’t stand the test of time. I hope St. Pete will do something good here – something that will last.

  21. Thanks for the history behind the pier. I like the sepia treatment it adds to the atmosphere of a deserted pier. It sounds as if it is a good resource for photographers too.

    • Sue Karski says:

      Thank you. While is it open to walk out to the Pier – everyone should take advantage. I do not know if you will be in FL in the coming months, but if so, please do go see it. There are a lot of different photo ops from the pier looking towards St. Pete, and around the Pier itself.
      This just goes to show us that we need to keep our eyes open to see what is around us for our interpretation.

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