Richmond, California facts for kids

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Richmond
City
Point Richmond seen from nearby Nicholl Knob
Point Richmond seen from nearby Nicholl Knob
Official seal of Richmond
Seal
Motto: The City of Pride and Purpose
Location in Contra Costa County
Location in Contra Costa County
Country  United States
State  California
County Contra Costa
Incorporated August 7, 1905
Area
 • City 52.480 sq mi (135.923 km2)
 • Land 30.068 sq mi (77.875 km2)
 • Water 22.412 sq mi (58.048 km2)  42.71%
Elevation 46 ft (14 m)
Population (April 1, 2010)
 • City 103,701
 • Estimate (2014) 108,565
 • Rank 2nd in Contra Costa County
61st in California
 • Density 1,976.010/sq mi (762.939/km2)
 • Urban 28,038
 • Metro 4,335,391
Time zone Pacific (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 94801, 94802, 94804, 94805, 94807, 94808, 94850
Area code 510
GNIS IDs 1659507, 2410939
FIPS code 06-60620
Website www.ci.richmond.ca.us

Richmond (/ˈrɪmənd/ RICH-mənd) is a city in western Contra Costa County, California, United States. The city was incorporated on August 7, 1905. Located in the eastern region of the San Francisco Bay Area, Richmond borders the cities of San Pablo, Albany, El Cerrito and Pinole in addition to the unincorporated communities of North Richmond, Hasford Heights, Kensington, El Sobrante, Bayview-Montalvin Manor, Tara Hills, and East Richmond Heights, and briefly San Francisco on Red Rock Island.

Under the McLaughlin Administration, Richmond was the largest city in the United States served by a Green Party mayor. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the city's population is at 103,710, making it the second largest city in the United States named Richmond. The largest, Richmond, Virginia, is the namesake of the California city.

Stegeaerial1930
Southern Richmond in 1930, at the time the town of Stege, California

History

Richmondunderpass
An E&SR streetcar in the Macdonald Avenue subway in downtown Richmond, 1906.
"4,000 Unit Housing Project Progress Photographs March 6,1943 to August 11, 1943, Looking down a street towards the... - NARA - 296755
A 4,000 unit housing project was completed in Richmond during 1943.

The Ohlone Indians were the first inhabitants of the Richmond area, settling an estimated 5,000 years ago.

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. His 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 Francisco and 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 Richmond.

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad had its terminus at Richmond. The first post office opened in 1900.

Richmond was founded and incorporated in 1905, carved out of Rancho San Pablo, from which the nearby town of San Pablo inherited its name. Until the enactment of prohibition in 1919, the city had the largest winery in the world; the small abandoned village of Winehaven remains fenced off along Western Drive in the Point Molate Area. In the 1920s the Ku Klux Klan was active in the city. In 1930 the Ford Motor Company opened an assembly plant called Richmond Assembly Plant which moved to Milpitas in the 1960s. The old Ford plant has been a National Historic Place since 1988, and in 2004 was purchased by developer Eddie Orton and has been converted into an events center (Ford Point Building – The Craneway). The city was a small town at that time, until the onset of World War II 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 for 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 Francisco.

Uss LSM-397
USS General A. W. Greely (AP-141) built in Richmond

At the outset of World War II, the four Richmond 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 Railway, 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 at the Richmond Field Hospital eventually became today's Kaiser Permanente HMO. It remained in operation until 1993 when it was replaced by the modern Richmond Medical Center hospital, that has subsequently expanded to a large multiple building campus.

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, J.C. Penney, Sears, Macy's, and Woolworth's. During 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.

Wendy Welder Richmond Shipyards
A "Wendy the Welder" at the Kaiser Richmond Shipyards contributing to the war effort.

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 also established 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.

Martin Luther King, Jr. had planned to visit Richmond just prior to his assassination.

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.

Geography

Redrock
Red Rock Island

Richmond is located at 37°56′09″N 122°20′52″W / 37.93583°N 122.34778°W / 37.93583; -122.34778.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 52.5 square miles (136 km2), of which 30.1 square miles (78 km2) is land and 22.4 square miles (58 km2) (42.71%) is water. The city sits on 32 miles (51 km) 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 unincorporated communities of East Richmond Heights, Rollingwood, Hasford Heights, 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. To the north, Richmond borders the city of Pinole and the unincorporated areas of Bayview, Montalvin Manor, Hilltop Green, Tara Hills. Richmond borders Alameda, San Francisco, and Marin counties in the Bay and Red Rock Island.

The city is within the 94801, 94803, 94804, 94805, and 94806 ZIP Codes.

Richmond-California-aerial
Aerial view in 2015

Climate

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 Peninsula, and Marin County; it is however more temperate than areas further inland. The average highs range from 57 to 73 °F (14 to 23 °C) and the lows between 43 to 56 °F (6 to 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 (42 °C) in September 1971 while the coldest was 24 °F (−4 °C) in January 1990.

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 3.3–4.91 inches (84–125 mm) 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 6–9 miles per hour (10–14 km/h) with stronger winds from March through August; the strongest winds are in June. The city also enjoys more than 80% sunshine seven 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.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 6,802
1920 16,843 147.6%
1930 20,093 19.3%
1940 23,642 17.7%
1950 99,545 321.1%
1960 71,854 −27.8%
1970 79,043 10.0%
1980 74,676 −5.5%
1990 87,425 17.1%
2000 99,216 13.5%
2010 103,701 4.5%
Est. 2015 109,708 5.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010

The 2010 United States Census reported that Richmond had a population of 103,701. The population density was 1,976.0 inhabitants per square mile (762.9/km2). The racial makeup of Richmond was 32,590 (31.4%) White, 27,542 (26.6%) African American, 662 (0.6%) Native American, 13,984 (13.5%) Asian (4.0% Chinese, 3.5% Filipino, 1.6% Laotian, 1.2% Indian, 0.7% Vietnamese, 0.6% Japanese, 0.4% Korean, 0.2% Pakistani, 0.1% Thai), 537 (0.5%) Pacific Islander, 22,573 (21.8%) from other races, and 5,813 (5.6%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 40,921 persons (39.5%). Among the Hispanic population, 27.3% were of Mexican origin, 4.7% Salvadoran, 1.7% Guatemalan, and 1.2% Nicaraguan heritage.

The census reported that 102,118 people (98.5% of the population) lived in households, 670 (0.6%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 913 (0.9%) were institutionalized.

There were 36,093 households, out of which 13,487 (37.4%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 14,502 (40.2%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 6,931 (19.2%) had a female householder with no husband present, 2,585 (7.2%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 2,538 (7.0%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 427 (1.2%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 9,546 households (26.4%) were made up of individuals and 2,707 (7.5%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83. There were 24,018 families (66.5% of all households); the average family size was 3.43.

The population was spread out with 25,800 people (24.9%) under the age of 18, 10,364 people (10.0%) aged 18 to 24, 30,846 people (29.7%) aged 25 to 44, 26,109 people (25.2%) aged 45 to 64, and 10,582 people (10.2%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34.8 years. For every 100 females there were 94.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.0 males.

There were 39,328 housing units at an average density of 749.4 per square mile (289.3/km2), of which 18,659 (51.7%) were owner-occupied, and 17,434 (48.3%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.5%; the rental vacancy rate was 8.1%. 52,683 people (50.8% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 49,435 people (47.7%) lived in rented housing.

The African-American population in Richmond was 22% African-American as of 2015, while it was 44% African-American in 1990.

Demographic profile 2010
Total Population 103,701 – 100.0%
One Race 97,888 – 94.4%
Not Hispanic or Latino 62,780 – 60.5%
White alone 17,769 – 17.1%
Black or African American alone 26,872 – 25.9%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone 250 – 0.2%
Asian alone 13,783 – 13.3%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone 462 – 0.4%
Some other race alone 585 – 0.6%
Two or more races alone 3,059 – 2.9%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 40,921 – 39.5%

2000

As of the census of 2000, there were 99,216 people, 34,625 households, and 23,025 families in the city. The population density was 3,309.5 inhabitants per square mile (1,277.8/km2). 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% black or African American, 21.36% white, 0.64% Native American, 12.29% Asian, 0.50% Pacific Islander, 13.86% from other races, and 5.27% from two or more races. 26.53% of the population were Hispanic or Latino, of any race.

Of the 34,625 households, 33.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.5% were married couples 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 retail.

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 language 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 Vietnamese, 3.49% speak other languages none of which represents more than half of one percent of the population.

Attractions and landmarks

The city of Richmond has dozens of parks, national historic parks, 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!".

RedOakVictory2
The Red Oak Victory at Ferry Point in Brickyard Cove, 2006

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.

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 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 $5 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, Richmond, California
Point Richmond is one of the city's widely known and expensive neighborhoods; Richmond Chevron Refinery and the marshlands in the background.
Rosieriveterwecan
"We Can Do It!" image used in a marker designating the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park

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 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.

The city's cemeteries include Rolling Hills Memorial Park and St. Joseph Cemetery.

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 California 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 Richmond Art Center is a contemporary visual arts center, with a gallery and art classes in the heart of Richmond. A showcase for emerging and established artists, the Richmond Art Center hosts the annual "The Art of Living Black," art show which is a showcase of the artwork of Bay Area Black Artists. "Featuring over 50 local artists, the works include fine arts and crafts, paintings, sculpture, photography, prints, masks, stained glass, quilts, textile art, ceramics, jewelry and dolls." The beauty, the pain, the power and the eye of these black artists touch the soul deeply. Founded in 1936 by local artist Hazel Salmi, the Richmond Art Center is a Bay Area cultural institution.

In addition, East Bay Center for the Performing Arts has maintained its roots in the Richmond community since 1968. The Center engages youth and young adults in imagining and creating new worlds for themselves and new visions for their communities through the inspiration and discipline of rigorous training in world performance traditions.

The Hyphy subculture and subgenre 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.

Religion

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; Word of Faith church; St. Peters C.M.E.; Kingdom Land Baptist Church; Grace Baptist Church; Grace Lutheran Church; Temple Baptist Church; Unity Church of Richmond; Holy Trinity Episcopal Church; First Mexican Baptist Church; Holy Mission Christian Center; St. David Catholic Church, Greater New Bethel Apostolic Ministries, formerly New Bethel Church of God in Christ, founded by Bishop A.D. Bradley in 1945; 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 God. There is also a large Laotian Buddhist temple that serves as a community center for the Lao community of the East Bay. There is a synagogue in the Hilltop Green District.

Parks and recreation

Kellerbeach1
Beach goers wading at Keller Beach in Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline in southern Richmond between Point Richmond and Brickyard Cove.

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.

Point Isabel Regional Shoreline is the largest off-leash dog park in the United States.

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.

Celebrations and conferences

The city has annual Juneteenth and Cinco de Mayo celebrations. The Cinco de Mayo celebrations sponsored by the 23rd Street Merchant's Association attracts thousands and closes the entire length of the roadway. The Richmond Police Department, Fire Brigade, United States Marine Corps and other organizations participate in the parade. This is in addition to a fireworks show at Marina Bay celebrating the 4 July and a Silly Parade, an event where people march down the street and generally act "weird" and silly. The city also participates in various Earth Day activities. The city hosts an annual and a physical activity and nutrition forum to discuss health in the community, it has been running since 2006. In 2010 the city began celebrating the Richmond Native American Pow-Wow in Nicholl Park, in 2012 this included area politicians and members of over 50 tribes from throughout the country.

Neighborhoods

EastRichmond1912
Richmond Heights as seen from North & East at the dawn of the 20th century.
See also: List of Richmond neighborhoods

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 Bay areas.

In literature, film, and music

Books

  • 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 (August 1995).
  • 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 5, 2001).
  • 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 subjects.
  • "If My Eyes Could Rewind THE REAL RICHMOND,CA STORY (Paperback) by Rodney "Alamo" Brown SEP Publishing (November 2013)

Film and television

  • The film documentary "Enough is Enough: Live From Tent City in Richmond, CA," details a grassroots movement of Richmond city residents to fight violence on their streets.[1]
  • 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 Point.
  • 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.

Sister cities

Richmond, California has three sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:

  • Japan Shimada, Shizuoka, Japan
  • Cuba Regla, Cuba
  • People's Republic of China Zhoushan, Zhejiang, People's Republic of China

Images for kids


Richmond, California Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.