Serving as a connection between the Terminal Building to the west and the Recreation Building to the east, the Shelter Building was part of the original Pier construction of 1916. As such, it served the tens of thousands of city residents who would flock to the Pier each summer to picnic and to escape the heat of the city.
The building was also well named. While its northern and southern exposures were open to the elements, the roof structure provided valuable shelter from the summer sun and occasional afternoon cloudbursts. The Pier's original carousel was also housed on the building's north side.
An easily overlooked feature of this building is the "rooftop garden", as it was called in the 1920's. However, in the Pier's early days, it served much as Dock Street does today, as a gathering place complete with cafe tables, live music and refreshments. Today, this space (now referred to as Lakeview Terrace Rooftop) continues to be used, most often for special outdoor receptions.