For more than a century, the 59th Street Pier stood as the icon of Ocean City’s south end.Work crews from Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company remove the last vestiges of the 59th Street Pier on Tuesday, June 30, 2015.But on Tuesday, a work crew drove an excavator into the surf and removed the last seven pilings — the sole survivors of Superstorm Sandy, the most recent storm to take a bite of a structure that once stretched 800 feet over the ocean.The landmark — the backdrop for hundreds of thousands of photographs through the generations — is now gone.The removal of the pilings was necessary in advance of beach replenishment work by an Army Corps of Engineers contractor later this summer. The shallow water where the pilings stood will be buried by a higher and wider beach.All that remained of the pier makes up a small pile stacked in the parking lot at 59th Street and Central Avenue in Ocean City, NJView of the pier from November 1996. Credit: Ocean City Historical Museum/Doug Longnecker“It defined 59th Street,” Sue Fithian said on Tuesday as she sat on the beach at 56th Street, looking at the void in the view she’s enjoyed for 25 years.“That was our Christmas card picture every year,” said Kate McCarron, who owns a home in the 56th Street neighborhood.Like McCarron, Anthony Pinnie, a West Avenue owner with a law practice in Media, Pa., marked the growth of his children from babies to teenagers through photographs with the pier as a backdrop. In more recent years, the pier served as a bit of a point break for his family of surfers and paddleboarders.The pier was first constructed in 1913, and for much of its existence, it was owned by Tony Pinto and family. Many people on the beach Tuesday recalled Tony’s snack bar at the base of the pier, which operated until the 1970s.The pier has been closed since the 1980s, when the city acquired it to protect it from further development. Plans to restore it never came to fruition.But even with no access to it, people embraced it as a vital part of the south end landscape. Sunrise photos, family photos, beach portraits and sunset photos will never be the same.__________If you have your own photos of the 59th Street Pier in Ocean City, send a copy to OCNJ Daily at [email protected], post them to Facebook at OCNJDaily or use the hashtag #OCNJPier to post them to other social media. We’ll put together a gallery of the best images. Share your memories of the pier in the comments section below.The gallery is now up and running: See images of the 59th Street Pier in Ocean City, NJ.__________Sign up for free OCNJ Daily news updates from Ocean City. The remaining pilings of the 59th Street Pier at dawn on Sunday, June 28, 2015 (left); and the same view two days later with no sign whatsoever of the pier on June 30, 2015.