Richmond, California facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Point Richmond seen from nearby Nicholl Knob
The City of Pride and Purpose
Location in Contra Costa County
|Incorporated||August 7, 1905|
|Named for||Richmond, Virginia, United States|
|• Body||City council:
Tom Butt (D) (mayor),
Jovanka Beckles, Nathaniel Bates,
Gayle McLaughlin, and
|• City||52.51 sq mi (136.00 km2)|
|• Land||30.05 sq mi (77.84 km2)|
|• Water||22.46 sq mi (58.16 km2) 42.71%|
|Elevation||46 ft (14 m)|
| • Estimate
|• Rank||2nd in Contra Costa County
54th in California
|• Density||3,678.94/sq mi (1,420.43/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−8 (Pacific)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−7 (PDT)|
94801, 94802, 94804, 94805, 94807, 94808, 94850
|Area code||510, 341|
|GNIS IDs||1659507, 2410939|
Richmond is a city in western Contra Costa County, California, United States. The city was incorporated on August 7, 1905, and has a city council. Located in the San Francisco Bay Area's East Bay region, Richmond borders 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 for a short distance San Francisco on Red Rock Island in the San Francisco Bay. Richmond is one of two cities, the other being San Rafael, that sits on the shores of both San Francisco Bay and San Pablo Bay.
During Gayle McLaughlin's mayoralty, Richmond was the nation's largest city with a Green Party mayor. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the city's population was 103,710, making it the country's second-largest city named Richmond, second only to Richmond, Virginia.
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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.
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.
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.
Richmond is located at.
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, 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.
|Climate data for Richmond, California (1981–2010 normals)|
|Average high °F (°C)||57.6
|Average low °F (°C)||43.5
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||4.79
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||10.5||10.0||9.3||5.3||3.1||0.9||0.1||0.2||1.2||3.3||7.3||9.4||60.6|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
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 age distribution of the population shows 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 36,093 were occupied, 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 population of Richmond was 22% African-American as of 2015, while it was 44% African-American in 1990.
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 age distribution of the population shows 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; 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!".
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
Richmond, California has three sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:
- Shimada, Shizuoka, Japan
- Regla, Cuba
- Zhoushan, Zhejiang, People's Republic of China
|Largest employers in Richmond
|2.||West Contra Costa Unified School District||Education|
|3.||Social Security Administration||Government|
|4.||United States Postal Service (including San Francisco NDC)||Government|
|5.||Contra Costa County, California||Government|
|6.||City of Richmond||Government|
|8.||Bio-Rad Laboratories||Medical Equipment|
|9.||Michael Stead Group||Retail|
Many industries have been and are still sited in Richmond. It had a dynamite and gunpowder works (the Giant Powder Company, closed in 1960, now the site of Point Pinole Regional Shoreline), the last active whaling station in the country at Point Molate (closed in 1971), and one of the world's largest wineries (Winehaven), closed by Prohibition in 1919.
During World War II, Richmond developed rapidly as a heavy industrial town, chiefly devoted to shipbuilding. Its major activity now is as a seaport, with 26 million tons of goods shipped through Port Richmond in 1993, mostly oil and petroleum products. The seaport is also home to a major oil refinery operated by Chevron Corporation. The Social Security Administration employs over 1,000 at its regional office and program service center in Downtown Richmond. Kaiser Permanente's Richmond Medical Center hospital in the Downtown Richmond is one of the largest employers in the city. Galaxy Desserts is run and operated in the city. Vetrazzo, an award-winning green business that manufactures Recycled Glass Countertops out of waste glass such as beer bottles and old traffic lights, is located in the refurbished Ford Assembly Plant. Treeskunk Productions a video game animation studio is based in the town. Bay View recording studios are located in the city, and have worked with artists such as Smash Mouth. Photon Films, LLC, a video production and editing studio, is located in Harborfront area along the southeast shoreline.
The Hilltop District includes Prologis Hilltop Center which had planned renovations, beginning with the addition of 99 Ranch Market, which have since been canceled. Two of their long time anchors, Sears and Macy's, both ceased operations there in 2020 and 2021 respectively. This leaves the mall with one last existing anchor of the Wal-Mart department store. Furthermore, the area is home to Hilltop Auto Mall, a 16-screen Century Theatres alongside, Hilltop Plaza Shopping Center.
The 23rd Street business district has evolved into a predominantly Latino neighborhood over the last twenty years as have the storefronts.
In the Downtown Richmond District the Richmond Shopping Center was built as part of the city's "main street" revitalization efforts. It is anchored by a Foods Co. supermarket and a Walgreens pharmacy.
The Macdonald 80 Shopping Center is a commercial plot along the trunk route of Macdonald Avenue which has been designated the city's main street under the aforementioned program. It was once anchored by the now-defunct Montgomery Wards and a Toys"R"Us. Demolition of the former buildings and construction of a new shopping mall were completed in 2006 and the center is now anchored by a Target store.
Richmond Annex and Southwest Annex
"Big-box" stores already in the city include Costco in the Point Isabel area and a Home Depot which is partially in Richmond. A controversial Kohl's department store has been proposed for Point Isabel. (See Point Isabel)
The former Richmond Shipyards were transformed starting in the late 1980s into a multiunit residential area, Marina Bay. Starting in the early 2000s, the city began an aggressive redevelopment effort spurring exurban tract housing, condominiums, townhomes, a transit village, and terraced hillside subdivisions. The city also created a redevelopment agency that refurbished Macdonald Avenue, funded the Metro Walk transit village, resurrected the Macdonald 80 Shopping Center, and created the Richmond Greenway rails-to-trails trail and urban farming project. Since 1996, new homes have increased in price by 32%, and there has been a 65.6% increase in the total amount of new dwellings built annually.
Country Club Vista is a development surrounding the Richmond Country Club to the south and north. It includes suburban style tract houses with cul-de-sac courts and small yards. Seacliff, at Point Richmond, is a development of luxury waterfront homes built on a terraced hillside. San Marcos is a series of about ten condominium multistory buildings between The Shops at Hilltop and Country Club Vista. Richmond Transit Village has been constructed in the former west parking lot and an adjacent empty lot of the combined Richmond BART and Amtrak station. The development is part of the city's downtown revitalization efforts.
On September 11, 2013, the seven-member Richmond City Council, in a four-to-three vote, decided to pursue a scheme for using eminent domain to buy out mortgages. The vote was on "[setting] up a Joint Powers Authority to bring more cities into the plan". However, at least five votes would be needed before any mortgage could actually be bought out. North Las Vegas, Nevada and California governments including El Monte Fontana, the city of Ontario and San Bernardino County had considered such plans but decided not to pursue them. The vote made Richmond the first to accept the idea. The plan had been opposed by the vice-mayor and some members of the city council, who said it would "compromise" the city's finances.
Critics of the plan noted that the company Mortgage Resolution Partners stood to potentially profit: it would receive $4,500 from the new lenders for each refinanced mortgage for arranging the financing to purchase the original loans and for handling all legal, administrative, and refinancing operations (an amount matching what lenders are compensated for under the Federal HARP loan modification program). Critics also questioned the inclusion of wealthy neighborhoods such as "the area near the Richmond Country Club". The Western Contra Costa Association of Realtors hired a public relations agency and sent mass mailings warning against the scheme; its advertising was "funded, in part, by more than $70,000 from the California Association of Realtors and the National Associations of Realtors."
Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo had sued, claiming the program was unconstitutional. "[T]he National Housing Law Project, Housing and Economic Rights Advocates, Bay Area Legal Aid, the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, and the California Reinvestment Coalition" opposed the suit, calling the banks' request for an injunction against the city "discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act".
Supporters of the plan include the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and Robert Hockett, a professor of law at Cornell University.
The public schools in Richmond are administered by the West Contra Costa Unified School District, formerly the Richmond Unified School District. There are also many private schools, mostly Catholic schools under the authority of the Diocese of Oakland.
The city has four high schools: De Anza High School, Salesian College Preparatory, Richmond High School, and Kennedy High School. In addition, there are four charter high schools, Making Waves Academy, Aspire Richmond California College Preparatory Academy, Leadership Public Schools: Richmond and West County Community High School, although West County Community High School was shut down in 2012. In 2012, Richmond Charter Academy, part of the Amethod Public Schools system, opened a charter middle school. There are also three middle schools, 16 elementary schools, and seven elementary-middle schools. Richmond also hosts three adult education schools.
The Contra Costa Community College District serves all of Contra Costa County, and Richmonders who decide to attend a community college typically go to Contra Costa College, located in the neighboring city of San Pablo.
79.8% of Richmonders have a high school diploma or equivalent, compared with 84.2% nationally. But 27.1% have a bachelor's degree compared with a statistically similar 27.2% nationally.
Since an exit exam requirement was implemented for California high schools, the CAHSEE, some Richmond high school students have been protesting against it. Some students sued the district in an attempt to eliminate the requirement. In July 2007, a compromise was reached in which the district would provide two additional years of educational assistance for the purposes of passing the exam. That year, only 28% of Richmond High School students had passed the CAHSEE, a prerequisite for graduating.
All Richmond schools have banned junk food, such as candy, soda, Twinkies, pizza, and other similar items in attempt to curb childhood obesity and change children's eating habits. It has been speculated that this was done preemptively, because some believe the state will soon mandate such restrictions. Despite these efforts, soda consumption in Richmond schools has not diminished. Furthermore, the current 32% of Richmond children who are obese will increase the current 24% adult obesity rate to 42% according to the Contra Costa County Health Services. This led the city council to approve a referendum on a 1 cent per ounce tax on beverages with a high sugar content for the 2012 elections, a first in the nation. The measure was opposed by councilmembers Corky Boozé and Nat Bates, who stated that he knew "many obese people that are perfectly healthy" and that it was "elitist" and "targeted black" people respectively. Members Jovanka Beckles and Jeff Ritterman – the latter a cardiologist – expressed horror at the obesity rate. Beckles chastized the other black members (Bates and Boozé) for not supporting the measure, as she found that the epidemic most affected people of color like themselves. The revenues would have been used to counter obesity through health and fitness campaigns and expenditures. The referendum was defeated by voters in the November 2012 election.
Port of Richmond
The Port of Richmond, located in along the city's southern coast beside the Richmond Inner Harbor, handles the third-largest shipping tonnage in California annually, a total of 19 million short tons. It ranks number one for ports of the San Francisco Bay for vehicles and liquid bulk. In addition to these commodities, the port can also handle dry-bulk, break-bulk, and containers. Seven of the terminals are city-owned, in addition to five dry docks, while there are 11 privately owned terminals. The port is served by a rail network operated by four major rail companies.
Highways and expressways
- Interstate 80 cuts through the eastern and northeastern portions of the city, through a mostly residential area, connecting to Pinole, Hercules and then on to Vallejo via the Carquinez Bridge in the eastbound direction, and through Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville and eventually terminating in San Francisco via the Bay Bridge in the westbound direction. The weekday westbound morning commute on I-80 through Richmond lies within the most congested stretch of freeway in the Bay Area, according to Caltrans, and has been ranked as such since 2001.
- Interstate 580 curves along the southern waterside of Richmond and merges into I-80 in Albany in the southern Oakland/San Francisco direction while slicing through mixed medium and heavy industries and homes through Point Richmond and onto the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge over the San Pablo Bay segment of the San Francisco Bay into San Rafael and Marin County.
- The Richmond Parkway, built between the early 1990s and early 2000s, connects I-580 in the Point Richmond area in the southwest to the Hilltop Area and I-80, and runs along the city's heavily industrial western side and through the unincorporated area of North Richmond. It has been proposed that it be upgraded to a state highway and be redesignated: State Route 93 and transferred to the authority of Caltrans.
- San Pablo Avenue (State Route 123) runs through Richmond and San Pablo to Pinole, Hercules and to its terminus in Crockett, and south through El Cerrito, Albany, Emeryville, and Berkeley, until it runs into Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland.
Major trunk streets
- Macdonald Avenue is the "Main Street" of Richmond, running east–west from Atchison Village through downtown to San Pablo Avenue in the North & East neighborhood. In 2010, it was repaved and refitted with new lampposts, street furniture, business façades, landscaping and trees.
- Cutting Boulevard parallels Macdonald Avenue to the south, traveling from Point Richmond to Arlington Ave. near the top of the hills. It is a busy commercial and commute route. In 1990, a major improvement program was designed by the city also involving Knox Freeway. It is named after the founder of the Port of Richmond, Henry Cutting.
- 23rd Street runs through the heart of the city north–south from where it turns to Marina Bay Parkway at I-580 through this heavily Latino business district and neighborhood to San Pablo Avenue in the city of San Pablo.
- Barrett Avenue parallels Macdonald Ave two blocks north; it is slightly less traveled and has less activity than Macdonald.
- Marina Bay Parkway serves as a link between I-580 and the Marina Bay neighborhood, it turns into 23rd street after crossing 580.
- Marina Way and Harbour Way/Harbour Way South (formerly 14th Street and 10th Street, respectively) run north–south.
- Giant Highway, named for the former Giant Powder Company, runs in the northern part of town between San Pablo Avenue and the Leroy Heights neighborhood.
- Hilltop Drive is a trunk street which runs from Richmond Parkway, crosses San Pablo Avenue, passes The Shops at Hilltop and continues over Interstate 80 into the neighboring city of El Sobrante.
- Carlson Boulevard (formerly Pullman Avenue) is the primary access from Downtown Richmond to the Richmond Annex neighborhood, starting from 23rd Street and terminating at San Pablo Avenue just north of the Alameda–Contra Costa county boundary, feeding into the El Cerrito Plaza shopping center.
The city's primary transportation hub is Richmond station. It is served by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Richmond–Millbrae and Berryessa/North San José–Richmond service, plus Amtrak Capitol Corridor, San Joaquins, and California Zephyr regional rail and intercity rail service.
The primary bus service in Richmond is operated by AC Transit, which runs 14 bus lines in the city. Service includes a number of local routes, rapid route 72R along San Pablo Avenue, transbay commuter service across the Bay Bridge to the Transbay Transit Center and limited All-Nighter service. Additional local service is operated by WestCAT. Bear Transit provides commuter and student service from El Cerrito BART and UC Berkeley to the UC Field Station in Campus Bay on route RFS. Several regional bus operators serve El Cerrito del Norte station (just south of Richmond) rather than Richmond station because of the former station's proximity to I-80.
Commercial and cargo rail
The BNSF Railway (BNSF) has a yard and that serves as the Northern California terminus of their line that goes to their main classification yard at Barstow via the San Joaquin Valley. The track was formerly operated by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (ATSF). Many years ago, the ATSF offered rail car ferry service from Point Richmond to San Francisco. The partially burnt remnants of the ferry pier can still be seen at Point Richmond.
The Richmond Pacific Railroad (RPRC) is a class III shortline railroad operating on 2.5 miles (4.0 km) of track, providing switching services at Richmond's wharves. The RPRC is owned by the Levin-Richmond Terminal Corporation and was formerly known as the Parr Terminal Railroad (PRT).
The San Francisco Bay Ferry relaunched ferry service to the San Francisco Ferry Building in January 2019. The service runs from the Craneway Pavillion in Marina Bay to the San Francisco Ferry Building seven days a week, with lower frequency on the weekends as opposed to higher volume weekday commutes. Schedules call for a 35 minute commute from the Marina Bay Terminal to San Francisco Ferry Building in either direction.
Historically, Richmond had commuter ferry service from the Richmond Ferry Terminal to the San Francisco Ferry Building on weekdays and Fisherman's Wharf on weekends in addition to special Giants Ballpark service during the baseball season. The voyage took approximately 45 minutes one-way. The service began in 1999, but was discontinued in the late 2000s in the economic downturn following the dot-com bust. Ferry ridership plummeted and the service became economically unsustainable, which led Red and White Fleet to discontinue the service. The Richmond ferry terminal is at Ford Point located adjacent to the historic Ford Plant in Marina Bay which is now open as an industrial park and under renovation. The terminal had its own dedicated AC Transit feeder service from Point Richmond and downtown Richmond with route 374 also now discontinued. A new ferry service from Richmond is planned for 2018 by the San Francisco Bay Area Water Transit Authority. The new ferry will take only half an hour to San Francisco and will use the existing terminal and parking facilities at Ford Point in Marina Bay. The San Francisco Bay Ferry relaunched ferry service to the San Francisco Ferry Building in January 2019.
Pedestrian and bike lanes
The city has aggressively developed its portions of the San Francisco Bay Trail and has more than any other city at present. The total length is 17 miles (27 km) and more is to be built. The city is also currently developing the Richmond Greenway a rails to trails project running parallel to Macdonald Avenue which will feed into the Ohlone Trail which serves as feeder service for the El Cerrito del Norte BART station. There is also the Hercules Bikeway connecting the Ohlone Trail with Hercules, which runs along the neighborhoods of East Richmond and El Sobrante. There is a trail under construction along Wildcat Creek to connect the Bay Trail and Wildcat Marsh with Wildcat Canyon Regional Park. The city also has many miles of trails in that park in addition to Miller/Knox, Point Isabel, and Point Pinole parks, among others.
Tree-lined San Pablo Avenue at Macdonald Avenue with an AC Transit BRT stop and businesses in eastern Richmond.
- Brian Abshire (born 1963), Olympic track and field athlete, 1988 Summer Olympics in 3,000-meter steeplechase
- C. J. Anderson, running back for NFL's Denver Broncos
- Courtney Anderson (born 1980), Oakland Raiders football player
- Benny Barnes, Stanford and NFL player, 11 years as cornerback for Dallas Cowboys, starter for Super Bowl XII champions
- Ken Carter (born 1959), Richmond High School basketball coach, inspiration for 2005 film Coach Carter
- Loyd Christopher, MLB player and scout
- Russ Christopher, MLB pitcher for 1948 World Series champion Cleveland Indians
- Darrell Johnson, MLB player, backup catcher for New York Yankees behind Yogi Berra; also played with St. Louis Cardinals; manager for Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers
- Ricky Jordan (born 1965), MLB player for Philadelphia Phillies, Seattle Mariners
- Willie McGee (born 1958), MLB player, outfielder for 1982 World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals, two-time National League batting champion, 1985 MVP
- Takkarist McKinley, NFL player for Atlanta Falcons
- Percy Robert Miller (also known as Master P), had a contract with NBA teams twice, with Charlotte Hornets during 1998–99 season and Toronto Raptors in 1999 pre-season; played in Continental Basketball Association for Fort Wayne Fury and for ABA's Las Vegas Rattlers; in 2008 McDonald's NBA All-Star Celebrity Game scored 17 points, hit two free throws to win the game
- Dave Smith (born 1955), MLB pitcher for Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs, and San Diego Padres
- Dale Sveum, MLB player and former manager of Chicago Cubs
- Lamont Thompson (born 1978), NFL football defensive back for Tennessee Titans and Cincinnati Bengals
- Jason Becker (born 1969), musician, songwriter and composer
- Stephen Bradley, musician, producer, and touring member of band No Doubt
- Billie Joe Armstrong (born 1972), lead singer and musician from the band Green Day was born in Richmond.
- Peter Buck (born 1956), guitarist for rock band R.E.M.
- Norton Buffalo (born Phillip Jackson; 1951–2009), twice Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter, country and blues harmonica, toured 32 years with Steve Miller.
- Canary Lee Burton (born 1942), composer and keyboardist
- Les Claypool (born 1963), bassist, songwriter and vocalist of Primus
- Gary Holt (born 1964), guitarist and founding member of Exodus; also a member of Slayer since 2011.
- Iamsu! (born 1989), rapper and fellow organizer of The HBK Gang.
- Larry LaLonde (born 1968), guitarist in Primus
- Locksmith (born 1984), rapper.
- Master P (born Percy Robert Miller), rapper, founder and owner of P. Miller clothing, former local businessman
- Also connected to Master P: Silkk Tha Shocker, Lil Romeo, both relatives/associates of Master P, and Big Ed (formerly under Master P's No Limit Records) were residents of Richmond
- Dorothy Morrison (born 1944), lead singer for Edwin Hawkins Singers on their hit "Oh Happy Day"
- Peter S. Beagle (born 1939), writer, author of the fantasy novel The Last Unicorn
- Lucretia Edwards (1916–2005), preservation activist and environmentalist
- Carl Franklin (born 1949), director of films such as Devil in a Blue Dress and One True Thing
- William Haynes, comedian, co-host of the YouTube channel SourceFed.
- Emiko Nakano (1925–1990), abstract expressionist artist
- Glenn Plummer (born 1961), actor, known for films such as South Central, Showgirls and Menace II Society
- Ronnie Schell (born 1931), actor and comedian
- Betty Reid Soskin (born 1921), park ranger, educator, and activist
Images for kids
Otters at the Richmond Marina
A beach closed due to oil contamination along the shoreline at Marina Bay
In Spanish: Richmond (California) para niños
Richmond, California Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.