Hunters Point Shipyard Phase 1 - Park Signage

Introduction & Acknowledgements

The San Francisco Shipyard, located in the heart of the city, is a masterplan community that incorporates historic preservation with new urban housing, parks, playgrounds, and art walk areas to enjoy the outdoors. Located at Hunter’s Point, the land was originally settled by the Ohlone people over 10,000 years ago. The stories of what is now Hunter’s Point illuminate major historical movements in both San Francisco and California including Spanish colonization, Chinese fishing industries, military activities, and Civil Rights.

This webpage is a cooperative venture between San Francisco Heritage and Lennar Corporation to create a gateway for education and to promote further discussion of the history of the site. Each of the historical points below coordinate to a information sign on the property. Full-size, readable PDFs of each sign are available using the Sign Index menu or click on the sign icons above the rows of images.

Research and text by Sheila McElroy. 

SHIPYARD TIMELINE

Punta de Concha was the Spanish name given to the prominent peninsula known today as Hunters Point. The name first appears on the chart “Plano del Puerto de San Francisco,” drafted in 1776 by Jose de Canizares, first pilot of the Spanish vessel San Carlos. The San Carlos was under the command of Captain Juan Manuel de Ayala, whose duty it was to explore and survey San Francisco Bay for Spain. For 166 years, Hunters Point remained relatively undisturbed except for the establishment of a small merchant shipyard.

Then, in just two years after America’s entry into World War II, this unique peninsula was transformed into a vast complex designed to repair and maintain the United States Navy’s Pacific Fleet, from the smallest vessel to the largest warship afloat.

As we move forward in building the next phase of the Shipyard’s history, we recognize those who honorably preceded us and the built environment which followed.

Indigenous History. The Shipyard was a favorite fishing ground for Native peoples. The territory of the Ohlone peoples stretches from the San Francisco Bay Area to Big Sur.

  • 1867. The first permanent dry dock on the Pacific Coast was constructed at the Shipyard in 1867. The Colorado was the first ship to come to the Shipyard for repair.
  • 1910. Chinese shrimp camps were well established around the bay by the late 1800s, and some of the most productive grounds were along the west side of the bay at Hunters Point.
  • 1940. The United States Navy acquired the Hunters Point dry docks in 1940. The takeover yielded a massive influx of blue-collar workers and transformed Bayview-Hunters Point into a bustling district known as the Third Street corridor.
  • 1974. With the end of the war, the U.S. Navy closed the Shipyard for Naval operations and began to rent land to private tenants.
  • 1980. More than 300 working artists opened studios and workspaces in the former Navy facilities. They organized to form The Point, the largest artist colony in the U.S.
  • 1995. The City of San Francisco and local citizen groups made a plan to redevelop the Shipyard into a whole new community.
  • Going Forward. The Hunters Point Shipyard is one of the most transformative urban renovations in the city. It’s a bold new vision inspired by all the creativity and abundant spirit that makes San Francisco unique.

 

36. shipyard timeline image