San Pedro Municipal Ferry Building

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San Pedro Municipal Ferry Building
San Pedro Ferry Building.JPG
San Pedro Municipal Ferry Building, housing the Los Angeles Maritime Museum.
San Pedro Municipal Ferry Building is located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area
San Pedro Municipal Ferry Building
San Pedro Municipal Ferry Building is located in California
San Pedro Municipal Ferry Building
San Pedro Municipal Ferry Building is located in the US
San Pedro Municipal Ferry Building
Location Sixth Street at Harbor Boulevard,
San Pedro, Los Angeles,
Coordinates 33°44′19″N 118°16′43″W / 33.73861°N 118.27861°W / 33.73861; -118.27861Coordinates: 33°44′19″N 118°16′43″W / 33.73861°N 118.27861°W / 33.73861; -118.27861
Architect Derwood Lydell Irvin, B. Irvin,
Los Angeles Harbor Department
Architectural style Streamline Moderne
NRHP reference # 96000392
LAHCM # 146
Significant dates
Added to NRHP April 12, 1996[2]
Designated LAHCM 17 September 1975 [1]

San Pedro Municipal Ferry Building is a former Los Angeles Harbor Department ferry terminal building located at Sixth Street at Harbor Boulevard in the community of San Pedro in Los Angeles, California.[3][4]

The historic landmark building now houses the Los Angeles Maritime Museum.[5]


The Municipal Ferry Building was built in 1941 as a Works Project Administration (WPA) project, built at Berth 84.[3] It was designed in the Streamline Moderne style by architect Derwood Lydell Irvin of the Los Angeles Harbor Department.[6] It has a five-story octagonal clock tower.[3] Its "sister ferry terminal" was across the main channel at Berth 234, also Irvin designed in the Streamline Moderne and built by the WPA in 1941.[7]

It was a working ferry terminal from 1941 to 1963, for the ferry connecting San Pedro and Terminal Island in the Los Angeles Harbor.[3] During those years, the double-decked ferries "Islander" and "Ace" transported thousands of passengers and automobiles to and from the tuna canneries, docks, shipyards, and military bases on Terminal Island.[3][7]

In 1963, the Vincent Thomas Bridge was completed, connecting mainland San Pedro to Terminal Island, and the ferry service became obsolete.[3] The ferry service was terminated on 14 November, and the bridge opened on 15 November.[7]

The San Pedro terminal building was used for many years as an office building by the Los Angeles Harbor Department.[3] The ferry terminal building on the Terminal Island side was demolished in 1972 to expand cargo operations.[7]


As the ferry building began to deteriorate, citizens of San Pedro sought to have it restored. They succeeded in having the building designated as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (no. 146) in 1975.

Beginning in 1976 the building was restored (exterior) and remodeled (interior) into the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, which opened in 1979. It is the largest maritime museum on the West Coast.[3][8]

The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.


Both the exterior and interior of the Municipal Ferry Building were featured in the 1947 film The Street With No Name.

Municipal Ferry Building from the main channel of Los Angeles Harbor.

See also


  1. ^ Los Angeles Department of City Planning (2007-09-07). "Historic - Cultural Monuments (HCM) Listing: City Declared Monuments" (PDF). City of Los Angeles. Retrieved 2008-06-03.
  2. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Big Orange Landmarks: San Pedro Municipal Ferry Building
  4. ^ Los Angeles Maritime Museum (formerly the Municipal Ferry Building)
  5. ^ Los Angeles Maritime Museum
  6. ^ "Derwood Irvin: The Man Behind the Ferry Terminals," Channel Crossings, Summer 2005, Vol. 2, No. 1.
  7. ^ a b c d Daily Breeze newspaper: Municipal Ferry Building | South Bay History, posted by Sam Gnerre on April 27, 2011; with vintage photos.
  8. ^ McKowen, Ken and Dahlynn Best of California's Missions, Mansions, and Museums Wilderness Press 2006 Berkeley, CA

External links

  • Big Orange Landmarks Blog: Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 146 — Municipal Ferry Buildingwith images.
  • Official Los Angeles Maritime Museum website
  • "History of the Los Angeles Maritime Museum"
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