pier history photo

History of the Pier

Bradenton's Memorial Pier dates back to 1878. The pier building was erected in 1928, and in the 1930s was officially dedicated to honoring 21 young men from Manatee County who died in WW1. Over the next five decades, the two story Memorial Pier building would be used for a variety of functions, both public and private. The large riverfront second floor was the social scene for dances and events (currently The Grand Ballroom at PIER 22).

The ground floor was used as a warehouse for freight from steamers coming into Tampa, until the mid 1940s. Then, a portion of the building became the first home of the South Florida Museum. The Manatee County Chamber of Commerce also resided here for 34 years, along with Manatee County's first radio station which began broadcasting in 1946. In 1974, Don Miller Development Corporation acquired the old building from the city and considered tearing it down. They soon realized, however, that the architectural and historic value of this Bradenton landmark must be preserved. Meticulous restoration of the pier building lasted two years.

The Miller family has taken great measures to ensure the building's historic style and integrity remain in tact while surrounding the pier with a modern and luxurious 225 wet slip marina.