A designated Texas Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, the Corpus Christi Seawall has helped to protect the coastal city for more than seventy years. Periodically devastated by hurricanes, Corpus Christi began to consider a protective barrier in 1919. For the next twenty years, seawall plans were proposed only to be ignored or rejected.
Finally in 1939, seawall construction began, funded with over $2,000,000 provided by the remission of state and ad valorem taxes from seven south Texas counties.
San Antonio contractor Jay Depuy built the 1,100-foot long seawall, using the design of the Dallas Civil Engineering firm, E.L. Myers and E.N. Noyes. Dredging eastward from Water Street, Depuy created a new land mound extending over 500 feet into the bay. From its edge to its juncture with the shoreline, he drove creoso ted timber pilings, able to bear eighteen tons of pressure, through the earthen mound into the bay bottom. Using a mobile foundation-forming device, he then erected a 14-foot high steel reinforced concrete seawall with steps from it top down into the water.
When completed in 1941, along with three piers and a marina, the seawall was not merely a protective barrier; its steps provided the people of Corpus Christi with an amphitheater to the sea. With this as their base, they held bonfire war bond rallies
during WWII, watched the sesquicentennial fireworks display and celebrated the arrival of the Columbus ships. Constructed through the ingenuity of engineers, the persistence of politicians and the enthusiasm of citizens, this concrete wall has protected shoreline businesses and property well into the 21st century.