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The San Francisco Naval Shipyard was a United States Navy shipyard in San Francisco, Californiamarker, located on 638 acres (2.6 kmĀ²) of waterfront at Hunters Point in the southeast corner of the city. Originally, Hunters Point was a commercial shipyard established in 1870, consisting of two graving docks purchased and upbuilt in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century by the Union Iron Worksmarker company, later owned by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Company and named Hunters Point Drydocks, located at Potrero Point.

History

Aerial photograph taken on 24 May 1945.
The original docks were built on solid rock. In 1916 the drydocks were thought to be the largest in the world. At over 1000 feet in length, they were said to be big enough to accommodate the world's largest warships and passenger steamers. Soundings showed an offshore depth of sixty-five feet. The Navy used the docks as a mid-site between San Diegomarker and Bremerton, Washingtonmarker. Much of the shoreline was extended by landfill extensions into the San Francisco Baymarker during the early 20th century. During World War I the Navy recognized the importance of shipbuilding and repair in the San Francisco bay and began negotiating for use and appropriation of the drydocks. A Congressional hearing on Pacific Coast Naval Bases was held in San Francisco in 1920 at San Francisco City Hall, wherein city representatives, Mayor Rolph, City Engineer O'Shaughnessy and others testified on behalf of permanently siting the Navy at Hunters Point.

The land was again appropriated by the United States Navy at the onset of World War II and became one of the major shipyards of the west coast. The Navy reacquired it in November 1941, later renaming it Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, then Treasure Island Naval Station Hunters Point Annex, and operated the yard until 1974, when it leased most of it to a commercial ship repair company. Many workers, including African Americans, moved into the area to work at this shipyard and other wartime related industries in the area. After the war, with an influx of blue collar industry, the area remained a naval base and commercial shipyard. The Navy closed the shipyard and Naval base in 1994 as part of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). The BRAC program manages the majority of the site to this day.

The key fissile components of the first atomic bomb were loaded onto the USS Indianapolis in July 1945 at Hunters Point for transfer to Tinianmarker.

As in most industrial zones of the era, Hunter's Point has had a succession of coal and oil fired power generation facilities, and these have left a legacy of pollution, both from smokestack effluvients and leftover byproducts that were dumped in the vicinity. The base was entirely closed in 1994, although it continues to receive attention due to the large amounts of hazardous waste remaining to be cleaned up.

After World War II and until 1969, the Hunters Point shipyard was the site of the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory, the US military's largest facility for applied nuclear research, which has left many areas of the shipyard radioactively contaminated.

The Hunters Point shipyard has recently been targeted as a possible location for a new San Francisco 49ers stadium.

References

  1. http://www.mercurynews.com/southbayfootball/ci_6814707?nclick_check=1


See also



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