National Geographic : 1962 Dec
ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey, on an island of sand, has learned to respect the sea that endlessly threatens it. For half a century it has studied the ways of the waves and how to placate them. "Let these new resorts build right in the breakers and come apart when the first big storm hits," said City Engineer George Swinton. "We never move a bucket of sand until we're sure the sea won't take it as an insult and seek revenge. So, in the March storm, we had bad damage only to the north, on the Absecon Inlet end of the island." Builders of Atlantic City's two great piers extend ing into the sea accepted the risk of trespassing on the waves. Million Dollar Pier got away with it in March. Steel Pier, which has a permanent General Motors automobile exhibition at the landward end and a trained horse that dives into a tank at the other, took Steel Pier loses midsection and tip to the waves. Pier owners repaired the damage in 16 weeks. Aerial 874 at right shows pier and Atlantic City before the storm.