Richmond ( ) is a city in
western Contra Costa County, California, United States.
The city was incorporated on
August 7, 1905. It is located in the East Bay, part of the
Bay Area. It is a residential inner suburb of San Francisco, as well as the site of heavy industry, which has
been undergoing a shift towards a service and commercial economy
since the 1970s. Richmond almost completely surrounds the city
Pablo and the unincorporated areas of North
Richmond, El Sobrante and East Richmond Heights.
The city is headed by mayor Gayle
, making Richmond the largest city in the country
with a Green Party
mayor. As of the July 1, 2005 U.S. Census
estimate, the city has a
population of 102,186, while the California Department of
estimates the city's population at 103,468, as of
January 1, 2006. This makes Richmond the 56th largest city in the
The Ohlone Indians
were the first
inhabitants of the Richmond area, settling an estimated 5,000 years
The name "Richmond" appears to predate actual incorporation by more
than fifty years. Edmund Randolph, originally from Richmond,
Virginia, represented the city of San Francisco when
California's first legislature met in San Jose in December 1849,
and he became state assemblyman from San Francisco.
loyalty to the town of his birth caused him to persuade a federal
surveying party mapping the San Francisco Bay to place the names
"Point Richmond" and "Richmond" on an 1854 geodetic coast map,
which was the geodetic map at the terminal selected by the San
Joaquin Valley Railroad; and by 1899 maps made by the railroad
carried the name "Point Richmond Avenue," designating a county road
that later became Barrett Avenue, a central street in
Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad
had its terminus at Richmond. The
first post office opened in 1900.
was founded and incorporated in 1905, carved out of Rancho San
Pablo, from which the nearby town of San Pablo inherited
Until 1919, the city had the largest winery
in the world; the small abandoned village of
remains fenced off along Western
Drive in the Point Molate Area. In the 1920s the Ku Klux Klan
was active in the city.
the Ford Motor Company opened an
assembly plant in the south side of town, which is now an abandoned
industrial area (the plant moved to Milpitas in the 1970s).
The city was a small town at
that time, until the onset of World War
which brought on a rush of migrants and a boom in the
industrial sector. Standard Oil set
up operations here in 1901, including a what is now the Chevron
Richmond Refinery and tank farm, which are
still operated by Chevron.
There is a pier into San
Francisco Bay south of Point Molate
oil tankers. The western terminus of the Santa Fe Railroad was established in
Richmond with ferry connections at Ferry Point in the Brickyard
Cove area of Point
Richmond to San
outset of World War II, the four
Shipyards were built along the Richmond waterfront, employing
thousands of workers, many recruited from all over the United
States, including many African-Americans and women entering the
workforce for the first time.
Many of these workers lived in
specially-constructed houses scattered throughout the San Francisco
Bay Area, including Richmond, Berkeley and Albany. A
specially-built rail line, the Shipyard
, transported workers to the shipyards. Kaiser's
Richmond shipyards built 747 Victory
and Liberty ships
for the war effort,
more than any other site in the U.S. The city broke many records
and even built one Liberty ship in a record five days. On average
the yards could build a ship in thirty days. The medical system
established for the shipyard workers eventually became today's
Kaiser Permanente HMO
. One of Kaiser's medical centers is located in
Point Richmond was originally the commercial hub of the city, but a
new downtown arose in the center of the city. It was populated by
many department stores such as Kress
Penney, Sears, Macy's, and
the war the population increased dramatically and peaked at around
120,000 by the end of the war. Once the war ended the shipyard
workers were no longer needed, beginning a decades-long population
decline. The Census listed 99,545 residents in 1950. By 1960 much
of the temporary housing built for the shipyard workers was torn
down, and the population dropped to about 71,000. Many of the
people who moved to Richmond were black
and came from the Midwest and South.
Most of the white men were overseas at war, and this opened up new
opportunities for ethnic minorities and women. This era also
brought with it the innovation of daycare
for children, as a few women could care for several dozen women's
children, while most of the mothers went off to work in the
factories and shipyards.
In the 1970s the Hilltop area including a large shopping mall was
developed in the northern suburbs of the city; this further
depressed the downtown area as it drew away retail clients and
tenants. In the late 1990s and early 2000s the Richmond Parkway
was built along the
western industrial and northwestern parkland of the city connecting
Interstates 80 and 580.
In the early 1900s, the Santa Fe railroad established a major rail
yard adjacent to Point Richmond. The railroad constructed a tunnel
through the Potrero San Pablo ridge to run a track from their yard
to a ferry landing from which freight cars could be transshipped to
San Francisco. Where this track crosses the main street in Point
Richmond, there remain two of the last operational wigwag
grade crossing signals in the
United States, and the only surviving examples of the "upside-down"
type. The wigwag is an antiquated type of railroad crossing signal
which was phased out in the 1970s and 80s across the country. There
was controversy in 2005 when the State Transportation Authority
ordered the BNSF railroad company to upgrade the railroad crossing
signals. A compromise was achieved that included installing new
modern crossing gates, red lights and bells while not removing, but
simply shutting off the historic ones and preserving their
functionality for special events.
The Pullman Company
a major facility in Richmond in the early 20th century. The
facility connected with both the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific and
serviced their passenger coach equipment. The Pullman Company was a
large employer of African American
men, who worked mainly as porters
on the Pullman cars. Many of them settled in the East Bay, from
Richmond to Oakland, prior to World War II.
In 2006 the city celebrated its centennial. This coincided with the
repaving and streetscaping project of Macdonald Avenue
. The city's old rundown
commercial district along Macdonald has been designated the city's
"Main Street District" by the state of California. This has led to
funding of improvements in the form of state grants.
Richmond is located at .
According to the United
States Census Bureau
, the city has a total area of 52.6
). 30.0 sq mi (77.6 km²) of it
is land and 22.6 sq mi (58.5 km²) of it (42.98%) is
water. The city sits on of waterfront, more than any other city in
the Bay Area. The city borders San
Francisco Bay to the southwest and San Pablo Bay to the northwest, and includes Brooks Island and the Brother Islands entirely, and half of Red Rock Island.
There are several cities and unincorporated communities
surrounding or bordering Richmond. To the south is the city of Albany which is in Alameda County and the city of El Cerrito. The cities and
unincorporated areas of, East Richmond
Heights, Rollingwood and, El Sobrante lie to the East. North
Richmond to the west and San Pablo to the east are almost entirely surrounded by
Richmond's city limits.
north, Richmond borders the city of Pinole and the unincorporated areas of Bayview-Montalvin, and Tara Hills. Richmond borders Alameda, San Francisco, and Marin counties in the Bay and Red Rock
The city is within the 94801, 94803, 94804, 94805, and 94806
|Annual rainfall and
||Rainfall in. (mm)
||Mean high temp.
||Mean low temp.
||57 °F (14 °C)
||43 °F (6 °C)
||61 °F (16 °C)
||45 °F (7 °C)
||63 °F (17 °C)
||47 °F (8 °C)
||66 °F (17 °C)
||48 °F (9 °C)
||68 °F (20 °C)
||51 °F (11 °C)
||71 °F (22 °C)
||54 °F (12 °C)
||70 °F (21 °C)
||55 °F (13 °C)
||71 °F (22 °C)
||56 °F (13 °C)
||73 °F (23 °C)
||56 °F (13 °C)
||72 °F (22 °C)
||56 °F (13 °C)
||64 °F (18 °C)
||48 °F (9 °C)
||57 °F (14 °C)
||43 °F (6 °C)
Richmond, like much of the coastal East Bay
, enjoys a very
mild Mediterranean climate
year round. The climate is slightly warmer than the coastal areas
of San Francisco, the
, and Marin County; it is however more temperate than
areas further inland. The average highs range from 57 °F (14 °C) to
73 °F (23 °C) and the lows between 43 °F (6 °C) to 56 °F (13 °C)
year round. Richmond usually enjoys an "Indian summer
", and September is, on average,
the warmest month. January is on average the coldest month.
The highest recorded temperature in Richmond was 107 °F/41.6 °C in
September 1971 while the coldest was 24 °F/-4.4 °C in January
The rainy season begins in late October and ends in April with some
showers in May. Most of the rain occurs during stronger storms
which occur between November and March and drop 3.3 to of rain per
month. January and February are the rainiest months.
Like most of the Bay Area, Richmond is made up of several microclimates
. Southern parts of the city and
the ridges receive more fog
than northern areas.
Summer temperatures are higher in inland areas, where the
moderating influence of San Francisco Bay is lessened. The average
wind speed is 6 to 9 miles per hour with stronger winds from March
through August; the strongest winds are in June. The city also
enjoys more than 80% sunshine 7 months out of the year and 10 with
60% or more. December and January are the darkest months with about
45% average brightness. The city experiences virtually no snowfall,
and brief hail annually. The city is very humid in the morning with
the lowest humidity being in the high 70% range. This may be due to
San Francisco Bay's notorious fog and also the fact that a majority
of Richmond lies on a flat coastal plain predominantly consisting
of reclaimed tidal marshes, inter-tidal flats, and seep
. Morning humidity is 75% to 92% year
round; afternoon humidity is more variable. This percentage is in
the high 20s to mid 30s (%) May through October (the summer months)
and climbs or descends through 40% to 70% during the winter.
Endangered California Clapper Rails
live in Wildcat and San Pablo Marshes.
Richmond is home to many species of animals. Canada Geese
visit the city on their annual
migrations. Harbor Seals
live in the
Castro Rocks and pigeons
populate the sidewalks and parking lots. Tadpoles
can be found in the local creeks and
vernal pools. Field mice
are also found. Herons
nest in protected areas on Brooks
Island. Deer, falcons, raccoons, ducks, foxes, owls, and mountain lions
live in Wildcat Canyon and Point Pinole
A license is needed for fishing on the waterfront or city waters
but not on the piers, where in addition to crabs
and manta rays may also be found. Striped
, Bat Rays
, Leopard Shark
, surf perch
are also found. Richmond is one
of the few places where you can find the rare Olympia Oyster
on the west coast, in the
polluted waters along the refinery's shoreline. Rainbow Trout
have recently returned to San
Pablo and Wildcat creeks.
patrol the skies.
through the city on their journey between Mexico and Canada.
Wildcat Marsh has two ponds where Canada Geese often rest, and is
also the home of the endangered Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse
California Clapper Rail
Another endangered species in the city is the Santa Cruz Tarweed
alongside Interstate 80. Wildcat Canyon also hosts falcons and
vultures. Threatened Black Rails also live in the city's
After a baby Grey Whale
was beached on
the Point Richmond shore in May 2007, its rotting corpse became
bothersome to neighbors. It took a while to remove it since various
agencies argued over whom would have to pay for it.
is also home to one of the last pristine moist grassland habitats
in the entire Bay Area at the former Campus Bay UC
Berkeley Field Station near Meeker
In 2006 the city was sued by an environmental group for dumping raw
into the Bay. Councilmember Tom Butt
was very vocal on the accusing the city council of turning a blind
eye to the problem.
Mayor McLaughlin has set a goal of installing 5 megawatts of solar
photovoltaic generation in Richmond.
Richmond lies in the volatile California region that has a
potential for devastating earthquakes. Many buildings were damaged
in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. There was also minor damage in
the Richmond earthquake in 1995. The city has also had at least one
minor tornado. The Chevron Richmond Refinery often releases gases
and had many highly noted chemical leaks in the 1990s. The company
has been fined thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of
dollars. The chemicals most often released are chlorine and sulfur
industrial accident, a General Chemical company rail tanker car
containing an oleum delivery to the Chevron
Richmond Refinery was overheated and exploded.
in a area contaminated with the poisonous gas, and led to 25,000
people landing in the hospital. The incident led to lawsuits, and has been
referred to as a mini-Bhopal.
A beach closed due to oil
contamination along the shoreline at Marina Bay.
The city's shoreline and wildlife were seriously affected by the
2007 San Francisco Bay
. Beaches and shoreline were closed, but later
reopened. Keller Beach was closed to public access for
||Most recent estimate, 2006
As of the census
of 2000, there were 99,216
people, 34,625 households, and 23,025 families in the city. The
was . There
were 36,044 housing units at an average density of 1,202.3 per
square mile (464.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 36.06%
or African American
, 0.64% Native American
, 12.29% Asian
, 0.50% Pacific Islander
, 13.86% from
, and 5.27%
from two or more races. 26.53% of the population were Hispanic
, of any race.
Of the 34,625 households, 33.7% had children under the age of 18
living with them, 40.5% were married
living together, 20.1% had a female householder with no
husband present, and 33.5% were non-families. 26.2% of all
households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living
alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size
was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.44.
In the city the population was spread out with 27.7% under the age
of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 31.4% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to
64, and 9.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was
33 years. For every 100 females there were 94.6 males. For every
100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $44,210, and the
median income for a family was $46,659. Males had a median income
of $37,389 versus $34,204 for females. The per capita income
for the city was
$19,788. About 13.4% of families and 16.2% of the population were
below the poverty line
, including 23.1%
of those under age 18 and 11.8% of those age 65 or over.
75.4% of inhabitants over the age of 25 were high school graduates,
while 22.4% had bachelor's degrees, and 8.3% had a graduate or
professional degree. 7.7% of the population was unemployed and
those who were employed took, on average, 34.3 minutes to commute
to their place of work.
33.2% of the population aged 15 and over has never married, while
46.3% is currently wed. 11.1% have already divorced, 3.1% is
currently separated, and 6.4% has been widowed.
20.6% of the population was born outside the U.S., of which 15.4%
were born in Latin America and 8.7% in Asia.
During the day the population shrinks by 6.2% due to commuting
while 23.3% of the population works within the city limits. 20.5%
of the jobs in the city are in the educational, health, and social
service fields, while 10.9% are professional, scientific,
management, administrative, and waste disposal, and 10.4% are in
7.0% of Richmonders are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces compared
with 10.9% nationally. 33.2% are foreign born while 12.4% are
nationwide. 48.1% of men and 43.2% of women are married conversely
55.9 and 51% of Americans are respectively. Nearly half (46.7%)
speak a language other than the English
at home. 65.3% are employed even with the national
average. The average household income is US$52,794; $6,552 higher
than the national average. The average family makes 57,931 dollars
while the average American household makes 55,832 dollars. The per
capita income is 22,326 compared with 25,035 federally.
Among Richmond residents, 64.56% residents speak English, 23.13%
speak Spanish, 2.11% speak Tagalog
1.75% speak Chinese, 1.20% speak Miao-Mien
, 1.12% speak Laotian
, 0.72% speak Punjabi
, 0.54% speak Cantonese
, 0.51% speak French, 0.5% speak
, 3.49% speak other
languages none of which represents more than half of one percent of
|Largest employers in
||California Autism Foundation
||Dicon Fiberoptics, Inc
Many industries have been and are still sited in Richmond.
It had a
dynamite and gunpowder works (the Giant Powder Company, closed in 1960,
now the site of Point Pinole Regional
Shoreline), the last active whaling
station in the country at Point Molate (closed in 1971), and one of
the world's largest wineries (Winehaven), closed by Prohibition in 1919.
During World War II
, Richmond developed
rapidly as a heavy industrial town, chiefly devoted to shipbuilding
. Its major activity now is as a
, with 26 million tons
of goods shipped through Port Richmond
in 1993, mostly oil
and petroleum products. Chevron
USA has a major oil refinery
city, with a storage capacity of 15 million barrel
(2,400 m³). The Social Security
employs over 1,000 at its regional office and
program service center in Downtown Richmond. Kaiser Permanente
's Richmond Medical Center
the Downtown Richmond is one of the largest employers in the city.
is run and operated
in the city. Vetrazzo, an award winning green business that
manufactures Recycled Glass Countertops out of waste glass such as
beer bottles and old traffic lights, is located in the refurbished
Ford Assembly Plant. Treeskunk Productions a video game animation
studio is based in the town. Bay View recording studios are located
in the city, and have worked with artists such as Smash Mouth
District includes Hilltop Mall that features Sears, J.C. Penney, Macy's, and
Wal-Mart department stores as anchors.
the area is home to Hilltop Auto Mall, a 16 screen Century Theaters
alongside, Hilltop Plaza Shopping Center.
The 23rd Street
has evolved into a predominantly Latino
neighborhood over the last twenty years as have the
In the Downtown
the Richmond Shopping Center was built as
part of the city's "main street
" revitalization efforts.
It is anchored by a Foods Co.
and a Walgreen's
The Macdonald 80 Shopping
is a commercial plot along the trunk route of Macdonald
Avenue which has been designated the city's main street under the
aforementioned program. It was once anchored by the now-defunct
Montgomery Wards and a Toys"R"Us. Demolition of the former
buildings and construction of a new shopping mall were completed in
2006 and the center is now anchored by a Target
"Big-box" stores already in the city include Costco
in the Point Isabel
area and a Home Depot
which is partially in Richmond and
partially in El Cerrito. A controversial Kohl's
department store has been proposed for Point
Isabel. (See Point
Newly installed to the community is the new Mc.Donald shopping
center (2008) a new Target super store. Along with many other food
court services and consumer attractions under renovation for more
popular business opportunities.
Shipyards were transformed starting in the late 1980s into a
multiunit residential area, Marina Bay.
Starting in the
early 2000s, the city began an aggressive redevelopment effort
spurring exurban tract housing, condominiums, townhomes, a transit
village, and terraced hillside subdivisions. Since 1996, new homes
have increased in price by 32%, and there has been a 65.6% increase
in the total amount of new dwellings built annually.
Country Club vista is a development surrounding the Richmond
Country Club to the south and north. It includes suburban style
tract houses with cul-de-sac courts and small yards. Seacliff, at
Point Richmond, is a development of luxury waterfront homes built
on a terraced hillside. San Marcos is a series of about ten
condominium multistory buildings between Hilltop Mall and Country
Club Vista. Richmond Transit Village has been constructed in the
former west parking lot and an adjacent empty lot of the combined
Richmond BART and Amtrak station. The development is part of the
city's downtown revitalization efforts.
Many casinos have been proposed for the West Contra Costa area.
Point Molate would have a casino, resort, and a luxury shopping
mall. Sugar Bowl Casino proposes a casino, steakhouse, and a
buffet. Casino San Pablo has already been built in neighboring San
Pablo, with 2,500 slots. The projects have been the subject of much
civic debate supporters contend that the often cash-strapped
government would get a major new source of revenue, while opponents
air their concerns over the ramifications including an increase in
already high crime rates, lowered property values, and worsening
neighborhood quality of life.
Point Molate is currently slated to either become a housing and
conference center or a casino
area, or even a large regional park.
Richmond city government operates under a council-manager system
members (including mayor and vice mayor) elected to alternating
Politically, the city is a Democratic
the early 1990s, not a single Republican
remained on the
council. Most mayors have been African-American. George D. Carroll,
who was voted by the City Council to become Mayor on July 6, 1964,
was described at the time as "the first Negro mayor in California
and first in America with the exception of small, scattered
all-Negro communities in the Deep South," . Rosemary Corbin was the
mayor throughout the 1990s and was an exception, as she is white.
In the early 2000s Gayle McLaughlin
was the first Green elected to the council, with the support of the
Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA), a coalition of liberal
Democrats, progressive independents, and Greens. In November 2006,
McLaughlin was elected mayor. The city council has four African
Americans, four whites and two Latinos. Richmond has formerly been
home to black culture and activist movements, most notably the
Black Panther Party
In 2006 the city implemented a computer program that it had ordered
from a German firm that provides the city with statistical
interactive maps. These maps cover such areas as signage locations,
streets, crime hot-spots, and zoning information. In 2007 the city
won a contest in which its previously substandard website was
upgraded and improved to make it more modern and functional. The
prize includes 2 years of free webmastering.
There has recently been controversy regarding appointments of
councilpersons Sandhu and Thurmond who were not elected at-large or
were appointed to the ballot on a Yes/No basis.
Recently Mayor McGlaughlin and Councilperson Butt have opposed
Chevron's plans of modifications to the refinery that would
increase pollution by using dirtier, thicker, but cheaper crude
The city of Richmond has eight community centers which are located
within city parks. Many of the city's community centers were closed
in the early 2000s following budget miscalcuations and financial
difficulties. In the 2006 city elections many candidates ran on
platforms promising to reopen these community centers, most of
which had been closed due to budget cuts. That election also
featured a city sales tax increase, Measure Q, which failed.
There are 53 voting precincts in Richmond. During the regular
November 7, 2006
21,575 of 37,605 (57.37%) registered voters
cast their ballots.
Great American Boycott
During the Great American Boycott of 2006 the predominantly Latino
storefronts of the 23rd Street business district were all closed
for the general strike and the usually bustling district became a
one-day ghost town. Many Latinos from the area participated in
large rallies on Oakland and San Francisco. Others protested
locally, along 23rd Street in Richmond. One lane on 23rd Street was
left open to allow traffic to pass.
Richmond is served by the Richmond Police Department and Richmond
Fire Department. Dozens of parks are run by the Richmond Parks
& Recreation Department. The Richmond Civic Center is currently
undergoing a seismic upgrade and renovations program. Some
buildings are being refurbished while other will be replaced.
The city has in recent years suffered from a high crime rate, so
serious that the city council at one point requested a declaration
of a state of emergency and asked for the intervention of the
Contra Costa County Sheriff and the California Highway Patrol
to ameliorate the crime rate. Murder, vehicle theft and larceny rates are
all high, although they tend to be concentrated in certain areas
such as the Iron
Triangle and areas surrounding adjacent unincorporated North
Richmond, which is outside the jurisdiction of the Richmond
In 2004, Richmond was statistically the second most dangerous city
in California and was named the 8th most dangerous city in the
country. However, those rankings have changed and Richmond is now
the third most dangerous in California behind Compton and Oakland
and 11th most dangerous nationally according to the Morgan Quitno
rankings. For every 100,000
people there were 38.3 murders
, 50.4 rapes
, 485.8 robberies
, 1110.7 burglaries
, 3497.4 counts of larceny
and 2471.4 thefts of vehicles
. Richmond had 42 murders
in 2006; and the city experienced a record of 62 homicides in
mayor Gayle McLaughlin is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal
Guns Coalition, an organization formed in 2006 and co-chaired
by New York City mayor Michael
Bloomberg and Boston mayor
The city is also
participating in the California Cities Gang Prevention Network.
Gangs are a serious problem for the police department as they cause
violence and shootings. Many gangs graffiti their "tags" to mark
their territory thus blighting the city with vandalism. A high
(or mara salvatrucha
leader, José Santos Bonilla, was captured in the southwestern
neighborhood in 2006.
is also home to the West County Detention Center in the Point Pinole area.
It is a male and
female county jail.
RichmondWorks and Richmond Summer YouthWorks are city programs
which aim to decrease unemployment and crime and have led to
hundreds receiving employment at area retail businesses.
Fires, medical emergencies and other disasters are handled by the
Richmond Fire Department which has seven fire stations in the
Richmond's De Anza High School
The public schools in Richmond are administered by the West Contra Costa
Unified School District
, formerly the Richmond Unified School
District. There are also many private schools, mostly Catholic
schools under the authority of the Diocese of Oakland
has five high schools: De Anza High School, Salesian High School, Richmond High
School, and Kennedy High School
In addition, there are two charter high schools,
Leadership Public Schools: Richmond and West County Community High
School. There are also three middle schools, sixteen elementary
schools, and seven elementary-middle schools. Richmond also hosts
three adult education schools.
Community College District serves all of Contra Costa County,
and Richmonders who decide to attend a community college typically
go to Contra Costa
College, located in the neighboring city of San
79.8% of Richmonders have a high school diploma or equivalent
compared with 84.2% nationally, however 27.1% have a bachelor's
degree compared with a statistically similar 27.2%
All Richmond schools have banned junk food, such as candy, soda,
twinkies, pizza, and other like items in attempt to curb childhood obesity
and change children's
eating habits. It has been speculated that this was done
preemptively since some believe the state will soon mandate such
Since the implementation of an exit exam requirement for California
high schools, the CAHSEE
, some Richmond high
school students have been protesting the requirement. In 2007, over
28% of Richmond High School students has passed the CAHSEE, a
prerequisite for graduating. Some students were angered with the
new CAHSEE requirement. They sued the district in the pursuit of
eliminating the requirement. In July 2007 a compromise was reached
in which the district would provide 2 additional years of
educational assistance for the purposes of passing the exam.
Attractions and landmarks
The city of Richmond has dozens of parks, National Historic Park,
and 10 sites listed under the National Register of
Richmond, which is in
effect a village within Richmond, is known for its small-town charm
and its quaint shops. The Point
, as it is known by
locals, offers owner-operated stores, coffee shops, and historic
benches and streetlights. The Masquers Playhouse is a performing arts center that offers shows and
productions year round.
Hotel Mac is one of the oldest
buildings in the area and has classic early 20th century
architecture, like many other buildings in the area. There is also
Plunge, a natatorium which had been closed due to seismic
The city expressed a desire to demolish the
building at one point, but this was halted by the actions of a
neighborhood preservation campaign which continues its mission to
"Save the Plunge!
The Ferry Point Tunnel is one of the oldest tunnels in California.
Built in 1899, this structure still gives access to many
attractions and neighborhoods in Brickyard Cove. The tunnel goes to
the Golden State Railroad Museum, the USS Red Oak Victory
and many beaches and parks, and to Ferry Point where an abandoned
ferry-rail pier still stands with a historic ferry slip still
standing, though somewhat damaged by fire. It can be viewed from an
adjacent fishing pier.
Oak Victory (AK-235) is a restored World War II Victory ship, the 558th ship made in
ships transported troops and supplies during World War II.
During World War II
the city sprawled
and its population increased dramatically. This led city leaders to
construct the Richmond Civic Center in 1957. This center houses the
city hall, a small convention center, library, hall of justice,
police headquarters, and arts center.
The Richmond Public Library, the only public library independent of
the Contra Costa County Public Libraries system, lies in the heart
of the civic center. It houses over 204,686 books, 4,014 audio
materials, 5,277 video materials, and 491 serial
The Richmond-San Rafael
extends across San Pablo Bay. The bridge is the origin
of the term rollercoaster span
, due to its curves, bumps,
and appearance which have also earned the bridge the nickname of
The Rollercoaster Bridge
. It was built in 1957, and connects Contra
Costa County with Marin
Automobiles are charged a $
4 toll in the westbound (towards Marin) direction
Railroad Museum is a complex series of model railroad layouts in a
museum in the Brickyard Cove area of Point Richmond.
visitor can operate trains of various eras, and there are miniature
freight and passenger terminals, trestles, tunnels, and
meticulously detailed town and city scenes, many of which are
copied from real life scenes of the 1950s.
The Santa Fe Railroad Terminal operated as the western terminus for
the railroad from the late 19th century to the late 20th century.
It has now been transformed into a museum to exemplify the feel of
the terminal in that era.
Point Richmond is one of the city's
widely known and expensive neighborhoods; Richmond Chevron refinery
and the marshlands in the background.
the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park
Rosie the Riveter marker
in Richmond, and commemorates women's shipbuilding and support for
the war effort in the 1940s.
Keller Beach is one of the city's beaches, located at Miller/Knox
Regional Shoreline, a park in Brickyard Cove. It offers picnicking,
sunbathing, wading, and swimming. The beach is overlooked by
vehicles exiting the Brickyard Cove drive, Ferry Point tunnel and
houses on the steep cliffs above. The beach, as with most of the
cove, offers spectacular panoramic bay views of the Oakland hills,
bridges, the San Francisco skyline and the Golden Gate.
Point Molate Beach Park is a park on the western coast of Richmond
along Western Drive. It was originally a Chinese shrimp camp in the
Point San Pablo yacht harbor accommodates hundreds of private
Brother Light Station on East Brother Island (one of the Brother
Islands) is host to an exclusive bed and breakfast.
It is only
accessible by private boat. Visitors come and stay for the day and
picnic for free or they may pay for a room.
also is also home to a radio controlled model airplane airport,
Breuner Airfield that is located in
Marsh a contested piece of land and near Point Pinole
Regional Park in the Parchester Village neighborhood.
Leisure and culture
regional parks administered by the
East Bay Regional Park
District lie within the city, including the Miller/Knox Regional
Shoreline and the Point Pinole Regional
They are linked by the San Francisco Bay Trail
. Part of the
former shipyard is now a marina.
The Richmond Art Center, founded by Hazel Salmi in 1936, is one of
the oldest continually operating non-profit art centers on the
entire West Coast of the United States. Its programming includes
exhibitions, adult and youth education, and community initiatives.
The Center currently (as of 2005) provides some of the only arts
education programming in the Richmond City School District, relying
primarily on public donations and private grants as its means of
There is also the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, Hilltop
Multiplex, or Masquers Theaters in Point Richmond.
The Richmond Progressive
are active political parties in Richmond. The House Rabbit Society
has its national
headquarters in Richmond.
Richmond is home to the National Institute of Art and Disabilities Art Center
also known locally as the NIAD Art Center. NIAD is a non-profit
organization hosting over sixty client artists weekly. NIAD's
client artist's work can be seen at NIAD's on-site gallery, the
Florence Ludins-Katz Gallery. NIAD has a gift shop.
subculture and sub genre of rap
music originated in Richmond and surrounding cities.
From 1996 to 2002 a "geekfest
" was held on
the beach in Point Molate every few weeks or monthly by S.P.A.M. Records
. The festival was a community
service for under 21 year olds.
There are dozens of gathering places for various religions in the
city, and some which are not represented in the city can be found
nearby. Christian denominational churches include the Kingdom Hall
of Jehovah's Witnesses; Kingdom Land Baptist Church; Grace Baptist
Church; Grace Lutheran Church; Temple Baptist Church; Unity Church
of Richmond; Holy Trinity Episcopal Church; Holy Mission Christian
Center; St. David Catholic Church, Faith Temple C.O.G.I.C., and
Faith Tabernacle A.O.H. Church Of God; and the Largest Church in
Richmond, Hilltop Community Church which is Assemblies of
Parks and recreation
The city has of parkland, that is 1.5% of the city's land
territory. A new national park,
Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical
is now under construction in the former Kaiser shipyards
and other wartime industrial sites in Richmond. The park is a
memorial to the six million women who labored on the home front,
symbolized by the mythical figure "Rosie the Riveter". Richmond was
selected for the park because it has many intact buildings that
were constructed for 56 wartime industries. Its four shipyards
produced an amazing 747 large ships and set production records. The
home front changed Richmond from a predominantly rural community of
23,600 residents to a diverse population of over 100,000 people
within a year. Industries operated around the clock and public
housing, schools, day care centers, health care and merchants
mobilized to support the new workforce that arrived on the city's
doorstep. Fortunately, Richmond's turbulent and productive home
front years were well chronicled and photographed. The National
Park Service provides interpretive services and operates a Visitor
Center in the craneway of the Ford Assembly Building.
Richmond also has number of local parks and two large regional
parks are under the authority of the East Bay Regional Parks
District, a consortium of most of the Parks and Recreation lands
and facilities of Alameda and Contra Costa County.
Canyon Regional Park is the city's largest park at .
once housed a dance hall and roller rink and has distinctive
stonework throughout, which was the rationale for its placement on
the National Register of Historic Places. It features San Pablo
Creek, trails, forests, horseback riding, picnic areas, and a play
structure for children, as well as horses for rent and mountain
biking trails. High school students practice cross-country in the
park. It is situated in the eastern Richmond hills and stretches
into Berkeley's Tilden Regional
in Alameda County. The park has diverse animal and plant
life including great horned owls, opossums, king snakes, rubber
boas, turkey vultures and many others.
Regional Shoreline is the largest off-leash dog park in the United
The Richmond Greenway
is a project
costing millions of dollars to transform an old rail line into a
walking, jogging, and biking trail. It will span east to west from
the end of the Ohlone Trail that follows the BART line from El
Cerrito to Berkeley. It will also follow the BART line to Richmond
station and continue to Point Richmond. Pedestrian bridges will be
used to cross major avenues such as San Pablo Avenue and 23rd
Street. An additional side project will add a bike lane/bike trail
between the Richmond Greenway and the Ohlone trail at Potrero
Avenue via 23rd Street, Carlson Boulevard, Cutting Boulevard, and
Potrero. It is currently under construction.
Richmond is home to four marinas: the Brickyard Cove Yacht Club,
Point San Pablo Yacht Club, Marina Bay Marina, and Channel Marina
in the Santa Fe channel.
The city has annual Juneteenth
Cinco de Mayo
celebrations in addition
to a fireworks show at Marina Bay on the 4th of July
There are three local newspapers: the Richmond Post
, the Richmond Globe
, and the West County Times,
variation of the County Times. Richmond is also host to the
West County Times
one of several
regional times newspapers for the East Bay.
A local cable access TV station, KCRT-TV
mainly plays historical archives but also airs City Council
Meetings and music videos.
KNEW transmits from towers at Point Isabel.
Port of Richmond
The Port of Richmond, located in along the city's southern
the Richmond Inner Harbor, handles the third-largest shipping
tonnage in California annually , a total of 19 million short tons.
It ranks number one for ports of the San Francisco Bay for vehicles
and liquid bulk. In addition to these commodities, the port can
also handle dry-bulk, break-bulk, and containers. Seven of the
terminals are city-owned, in addition to 5 dry docks, while there
are 11 privately-owned terminals. The port is served by a rail
network operated by four major rail companies.
Highways and expressways
I-580's Richmond-San Rafael
- Interstate 80 cuts through the
eastern and northeastern portions of the city, through a mostly
residential area, connecting to Pinole, Hercules and then on to
Vallejo via the Carquinez Bridge in the eastbound direction, and through, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville and eventually terminating in San
Francisco via the Bay Bridge in the westbound direction. The weekday
westbound morning commute on I-80 through Richmond lies within the
most congested stretch of freeway in the Bay Area, according to
Caltrans, and has been ranked as such since
Richmond Parkway, built in the
between the early 1990s and early 2000s connects I-580 in the Point
Richmond area in the southwest to the Hilltop Area and I-80, it runs along the city's heavily
industrial western side and through unincorporated area of North
Richmond. It has been proposed that it be upgraded to
a state highway and be redesignated: State Route 93 and transferred to
the authority of Caltrans.
Major trunk streets
- Macdonald Avenue is the "mainstreet" of Richmond, running
east-west from Atchison Village through downtown to San Pablo
Avenue. It is nicknamed the Parade Street, 100 year
street, and the Main street. The latter comes from
the Richmond redevelopment agency's plan to deem this street the
Main Street of town. It is currently being repaved and refitted
with new lampposts and trees.
- Cutting Boulevard parallels
Macdonald Avenue to the south, traveling from Point Richmond to
Arlington Ave. near the top of the hills. It is a busy commercial
and commute route. In 1990, a major improvement program was
designed by the city also involving Knox Freeway.
- 23rd Street
runs through the heart of the city north-south from where it turns
to Marina Bay Parkway at I-580 through this heavily Latino business
district and neighborhood to San Pablo Avenue in the city of San
- Barrett Avenue parallels Macdonald Ave two blocks north; it is
slightly less traveled and has less activity than Macdonald.
- Marina Bay Parkway serves as a link between I-580 and the
Marina Bay neighborhood, it turns into 23rd street after crossing
- Marina Way and Harbour Way/Harbour Way South (formerly 14th
Street and 10th Street respectively) run north-south.
- Giant Highway, named for the former Giant Powder Company, runs
in the northern part of town between San Pablo Avenue and the Leroy
- Hilltop Drive is a trunk street which runs from Richmond
Parkway, crosses San Pablo Avenue, passes Hilltop Mall and
continues over Interstate 80 into the neighboring city of El
- Carlson Boulevard (formerly Pullman Avenue) is the primary
access from Downtown Richmond to the Richmond Annex neighborhood,
starting from 23rd Street and terminating at San Pablo Avenue just
north of the Alameda-Contra Costa county boundary, feeding into the
El Cerrito Plaza shopping center.
Amtrak provides intercity passenger rail service from
Station, an intermodal connection shared with the BART system.
The station is
located downtown and has a transit center with connections to
and Golden Gate Transit
buses as well as
There are two Amtrak lines serving this station. The regional San Joaquin Route runs from nearby
Oakland to the south through Richmond and Martinez to the Central
Valley through Stockton and Fresno, terminating in Bakersfield.
Passengers continuing on to Los Angeles
or other points in Southern
may transfer at Bakersfield for connecting Amtrak
Thruway bus services.
second Amtrak line, the Capitol Corridor runs from
José to the state capitol, Sacramento, through Richmond, Fairfield, and Davis; some
trains continue to the northern Sacramento suburb of Auburn.
This route is the third most heavily used
Amtrak line in the United States.
has one station in the
city of Richmond, mentioned above, which serves as the northern
terminus of the Richmond-Millbrae
and Richmond-Fremont lines
. Two other stations
are located near Richmond, El Cerrito del Norte and El Cerrito Plaza, both in El Cerrito. The Richmond
BART station had over 1.7 million passengers in 1998 while the
Amtrak station carried 238,893 in 2006.
Before AC Transit and BART the Key System
provided a network of several rail lines on the East Shore and Suburban
Transit provides 14 bus lines in the city including local service
throughout the city including BRT line 72R along
San Pablo Avenue, "Transbay" commuter service across the Bay Bridge
to the San Francisco Transbay
Terminal and also owl "All-Nighter" service along the BART line.
The lines are: 7, 52L, 70, 71, 72, 72M, 72R, 74, 76, 376, 800, H,
In June 2007, after engaging with the community for feedback with
public hearings, AC Transit implemented the West Contra Costa
County Service Plan which realigned existing service finds to
reroute portions of certain lines, eliminate service to areas with
low ridership, and replace service in some areas with service from
a different route providing direct service to areas previously
requiring tedious transfers. Furthermore, a great effort was made to
provide a better transfer at Richmond Station as well as the
Parkway Transit Center.
The changes are covered by Phase I and use
no new monies which would be required to completely implement the
plan: Phase II. Phase II will use Regional Measure J funds to
expands service providing lines along corridors which are
undeserved or not served, and increasing hours and decreasing
headways. Two of the greatest changes will be extending BRT service
to Richmond Parkway Transit Center and providing service along the
Ohio Avenue corridor. These changes have effected the northern
neighborhoods of the city and the adjacent communities of El
Sobrante and San Pablo the most. Phase I was originally supposed to
be implemented in late 2006, but the implementation has been
delayed until June 2007. Phase II has a target date of
Gate Transit provides a service from San Rafael in Marin County
across the Richmond-San
Rafael Bridge to Richmond and
El Cerrito del Norte BART stations with routes 40 and 42.
Vallejo Transit (line 80) and Fairfield/Suisun Transit (line 85) provide feeder services from Solano
County, primarily Vallejo but also Fairfield, Vacaville and other
cities to El Cerrito del Norte BART.
provides similar feeder service from other West County cities like Pinole and Hercules. In addition to service in northern
Richmond's Hilltop neighborhood.
Lines running through Richmond
are: 16, 17, 18, 19, 30Z, C³, J, JX, JPXCarlson Boulevard is the
primary access from Downtown Richmond to the Richmond Annex
neighborhood, starting from 23rd street and terminating at San
Pablo Avenue just north of the Alameda-Contra Costa county
boundary, feeding into the El Cerrito Plaza shopping center
Commercial and cargo rail
The Union Pacific Railroad
(UP) has a mainline passing through Richmond. This line was
formerly operated by the Southern Pacific Railroad
BNSF Railway (BNSF) has a yard and that
serves as the Northern California terminus of their line that goes
to their main classification
yard at Barstow,
CA via the San Joaquin Valley.
The track was formerly operated by the
and Santa Fe Railway
(ATSF). Many years ago, the ATSF offered rail car ferry service from Point
Richmond to San
The partially-burnt remnants of the ferry pier
can still be seen at Point Richmond.
The Richmond Pacific
(RPRC) is a class III shortline railroad operating on
of track, providing switching services at Richmond's wharves. The
RPRC is owned by the Levin-Richmond Terminal Corporation and was
formerly known as the Parr Terminal Railroad (PRT).
had commuter ferry service from the Richmond Ferry Terminal to the
Francisco Ferry Building on
weekdays and Fisherman's Wharf on
weekends in addition to special Giant's Ballpark service during the baseball
The voyage took approximately 45 minutes one-way.
The service began in 1999, but was discontinued in the late 2000s
in the economic downturn following the dot-com bust. Ferry
ridership plummeted and the service became economically
unsustainable, which led Red and
to discontinue the service. The Richmond ferry
terminal is at Ford Point located adjacent to the historic Ford
Plant in Marina Bay which is now
open as an industrial park and under renovation.
terminal had its own dedicated AC Transit
feeder service from Point Richmond and downtown Richmond
with route 374 also now discontinued. A new ferry
service from Richmond is planned for 2008 by the
Francisco Bay Area Water Transit Authority.
ferry will take only half an hour to San Francisco and will use the
existing terminal and parking facilities at Ford Point. Recently
most of the city council except Tom Butt and Mayor McLaughlin have
lost interest in the project instead supporting using the site for
expanded Toyota vehicle importation parking which that company has
expressed an interest in.
Pedestrian and bike lanes
The city has aggressively developed its portions of the San
Francisco Bay Trail
and has more than any
other city at present. The total is and more is to be built.
is also currently developing the Richmond Greenway a rails to trails project running parallel to
Macdonald Avenue which will feed into the Ohlone Trail which serves as feeder service for
the El Cerrito del Norte BART
There is also the Hercules Bikeway
connecting the Ohlone
Trail with Hercules, which runs along the neighborhoods of East
Richmond and El Sobrante. There is a trail under construction along
Wildcat Creek to connect the Bay Trail
and Wildcat Marsh with Wildcat
Canyon Regional Park.
The city also has many miles of trails in
that park in addition to Miller/Knox, Point Isabel, and Point
Pinole parks, among others.
red rock island.jpg|The Richmond-San Rafael bridge
alongside Red Rock
Island and barges crossing San Pablo Bay.
Image:Sanpab-n-mac.jpg|Tree-lined San Pablo Avenue
at Macdonald Avenue with
an AC Transit BRT
stop and businesses in eastern
.Image:Amtrak California.JPG|An Amtrak Capitol
train which will pass through the city on its way to
Sacramento from San José.Image:Richmond BART.jpg|Richmond BART
Station within the intermodal Richmond Station which carries 1.9
million passengers annually.
Richmond's waste disposal and recycling is handled by the Richmond
Sanitary Service. Water is provided by the East Bay Municipal
Utility District (EBMUD), while
sewers are operated by the city government.
electricity and gas is provided by the Pacific Gas & Electric
- Brian Abshire, Olympic track &
field athlete (1988
Olympian) in the 3000 meter steeplechase
- Courtney Anderson, NFL Raiders
#88 professional football player.
- Jahvid Best,
Current starting running back for the University
of California, Berkeley Golden Bears
- Ken Carter: Richmond High School coach, inspiration
for 2005 film Coach
- Dave Smith, major league
baseball pitcher for the Astros,
Cubs, and Padres
- Lamont Thompson, NFL football defensive back for the Tennessee Titans and the Cincinnati Bengals
- Ricky Jordan, Philadelphia Phillies
- Ricardo Valenzuela
a soccer referee.
- Willie McGee, Major League Baseball player for the
St. Louis Cardinals
- :* Also connected to Master P: Silkk Tha Shocker, Lil Romeo, both relatives of Master P, and
Big Ed (formerly under Master P's No Limit
Records) were residents in Richmond, CA.
- Jason Becker, guitarist of the
1980s and 1990s.
- Peter Buck, guitarist for rock band
- Stephen Bradley,
musician, producer, and touring member of the band No Doubt.
- Ryah Nikole, singer, songwriter who
was born and raised in Richmond and Vallejo
- Les Claypool: Bass guitarist, and vocalist of Primus
- Gary Holt guitarist and
founding member of Exodus.
Richmond has many distinct neighborhoods. The city can roughly be
divided into the northern Hilltop/El Sobrante, eastern Central/East
Richmond, downtown/Iron Triangle and Southern Point Richmond/Marina
Richmond in literature, film, and music
- Richmond - Windows to the Past, an oral history based
photographic history by Susan Alcorn (1980).
- In Contempt (Mass Market Paperback) by Christopher A.
Darden, Jess Walter, ReganBooks; Reprint edition (February 1997)
(Christopher Darden, one of the prosecutors in the criminal case
against O.J. Simpson, grew up in Richmond.)
- Photographing the 2nd Gold Rush: Dorothea Lange and
the East Bay at War 1941-1945 (Paperback) by Dorothea Lange,
Charles Wollenberg, Heyday Books
- Richmond (Images of America) (Paperback) by Donald
Bastin, Arcadia Publishing (SC) (November 2003).
- Tales from the Iron Triangle: Boyhood Days in the Bay Area
of the 1920s (Hardcover), by James Polese, Ocean Tree Books;
1st ed. edition (September 1994).
- To Place Our Deeds: The African American Community in
Richmond, California, 1910-1963 (Paperback) by Shirley Ann
Wilson Moore, University of California Press; 1 edition (February
- Gypsies: The Hidden Americans (Paperback) by Anne
Sutherland, 1975; Re-issued 1986 by Waveland Press, Inc. This book
is an anthropological study of a group of American Rom (Gypsies)
living in Richmond (Barvale), California. It is based on fieldwork
done during 1968-70. In this book, Richmond was given the pseudonym
of "Barvale" in order to protect the anonymity of the
Film and television
- Much of the movie Tucker: The Man and His
Dream was filmed at the National Preservation Award
winning Ford Assembly Building, now commonly referred to as Ford
- Many scenes from the Robin
Williams film, Patch Adams
were filmed during a week in Point Richmond.
- The basketball movie, Coach
Carter although filmed across the bay in San Francisco was
based on the story of the Richmond High School Basketball team
being benched for poor grades despite an undefeated season.
- In the T.V. Show The
Game, character Latasha "Tasha"
Mack grew up in Richmond.
- Many parts of the Mel Gibson movie
Forever Young were
filmed in Point Richmond.
- DeVry College has made a commercial showing businesses along
San Pablo Avenue in Richmond.
- Kaiser Permanente made a commercial showing a man riding a
bicycle in Point Richmond.
On October 24, 2009 a 15-year old girl was gangraped at Richmond
High School for 2 1/2 hours. The crime happened during the high
school's home coming dance event.
Richmond, California has three sister
, as designated by Sister Cities
- The "twin town" of Shimada, Japan
(Japanese: 島田市, 日本).
port city of Regla, Cuba.
- Zhoushan, China (Chinese: 舟山市, 中华人民共和国).