By <a href=”//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Cmichel67″ title=”User:Cmichel67″>Cmichel67</a> – <span class=”int-own-work” lang=”en”>Own work</span>, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link
The history I recount in Hunters Point about the naval yard is largely true. The site was used by the US Navy from the early 20th century and Teddy Roosevelt really did declare it “the world’s greatest shipping yard” and an important western base of operations. The site was officially acquired by the navy in 1940 and was an active base until 1974. It was permanently closed in 1994. Even before that, the environmental damage to the area was profound. The site was declared a Superfund site in 1989. Despite agreeing to clean up the site to the highest possible standards, the navy has continually dropped those standards and has been at odds with the city of San Francisco over their efforts. Today, Hunters Point remains a contaminated wasteland and sad testament to the long-term costs of war and defense.
My friend, the San Francisco author Gary Kamiya described Hunters Point as the “Mordor of San Francisco.” If you are a Tolkien fan, you get the reference and it is truly apt. The fact that in a city in dire need of new space and astronomical housing costs, several hundred acres of waterfront property languishes in disuse, is indicative of just how messed up this area truly is. I hope that something can change the future narrative of Hunters Point for the better.