Since it was right on the Santa Monica/Venice border, existing half in one city and half in another, there's extensive information on POP and the previous incarnations of the Ocean Park pier at the Venice history page: http://www.westland.net/venicehistory/
It is just soo depressing looking at the pictures of the abandoned and deteriorating Pacific Ocean Park, especially after how successful it was against Disneyland. I wish this never has to happen to a theme park ever again! I mean what if it was the opposite and we were all on POPChat and wondering "Where Exactly Was Disneyland?" That would suck.
I think they should pay some tribute to the POP in the new Paradise Pier. That would be soo cool. I wouldn't mind seeing the Mahi Mahi ride where the Maliboomer is.