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Richmond, California

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Richmond in California.

 

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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 San Francisco 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.

Attractions and landmarks

The city of Richmond has dozens of parks, National Historic Park, and 10 sites listed under the National Register of Historic Places

Point 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 The Plunge, a natatorium which had been closed due to seismic safety issues but was re-opened in August 2010 after the retrofitting was completed. 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.

The USS Red Oak Victory (AK-235) is a restored World War II Victory ship, the 558th ship made in Richmond. Liberty and Victory ships transported troops and supplies during World War II.

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 subscriptions.

The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge extends 5.5 miles (8.9 km) 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 County. Automobiles are charged a $4 toll in the westbound (towards Marin) direction only.

The Golden State Railroad Museum is a complex series of model railroad layouts in a museum in the Brickyard Cove area of Point Richmond. A 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 Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park is 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 1870s.

Point San Pablo yacht harbor accommodates hundreds of private boats.

East 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.

The city also is also home to a radio controlled model airplane airport, Breuner Airfield that is located in Breuner Marsh a contested piece of land and near Point Pinole Regional Park in the Parchester Village neighborhood.
Leisure and culture

Several 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 Shoreline. 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 support.

There is also the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, Hilltop Multiplex, or Masquers Theaters in Point Richmond.

The Richmond Progressive Alliance and Green Party are active political parties in Richmond. The House Rabbit Society has its national headquarters in Richmond.

Art

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.

The Hyphy 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.

Parks and recreation

The city has 292.6 acres (1.2 km2) 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 Park 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.

Wildcat Canyon Regional Park is the city's largest park at 2,428 acres (10 km2). The park 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 Park 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.

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. In addition, Richmond has the "Richmond Plunge", a municipal natatorium dating back to 1926 and which reopened August 14, 2010. The pool is located in the Point Richmond neighborhood.

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