The Point Molate Naval Fuel Depot covers approximately 423 acres in the Protero Hills in the City of Richmond, California and is about 1.5 miles north of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge in the northwest portion of the city of Richmond. The facility's topography ranges from sea level to steep slopes that rise as high as 500 feet above sea level. Point Molate is surrounded on the north, east and south by Chevron and San Pablo and San Francisco Bay’s to the west. Of the 290 terrestrial acres, approximately 90 acres are developable and generally below a 15 percent slope.
The "Village of Point Molate" was placed on the National Register of historic places in October 1978 (#78000658). Of the 65 standing buildings at Point Molate, at least 47 are within the 71 acre historic area. Of these, 35 are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the 29 residential housing units.
Pt. Molate was home to the indigenous Native Americans tribes the Ohlone and Miwok. Although burial mounds once remained on the property, they have been destroyed by years of industrial activity. In the early 1800's, the land was used by the padres of Mission Delores and later became a Spanish Rancho.
In 1871, Chinese fisherman developed a productive shrimp camp which lasted for more than 40 years. The1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire destroyed the then-burgeoning wine industry in San Francisco. The California Wine Association (CALWA) began construction of Winehaven and it opened the following summer and by 1909, the winery was in full operation. Once identified as the largest winery in the world, the glory of Winehaven came to an end with the advent of prohibition in 1919. In 1937, CALWA dissolved and began selling off its holdings.
Vestiges of the winery and hotel operations that brought tourists to the Site in the early 20th century are visible today, and are part of the Winehaven Historical District (the District).
In 1941, Point Molate was acquired by the U.S. Navy and began its life as a Naval Fuel Depot until September of 1995 when it was officially closed. In September, 1995, the City of Richmond established the City Council as the Local Reuse Authority (LRA).
On October 16, 1995, the LRA establishes a 45-member Blue Ribbon Advisory Committee to help prepare a draft Reuse Plan which was presented to LRA in March of 1997.
After a project to build a tribal casino at Pt. Molate failed in 2010, the land remains unoccupied. The final cleanup however of IR Site 3 (between Winehaven and the shore) will began in September 2014, and will be completed mid 2015.
Bustling Winehaven District
All historic photos courtesy of the
POINT MOLATE VIEWS
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CITIZENS FOR A SUSTAINABLE POINT MOLATE | P.O. BOX 71212, RICHMOND, CA. 94807 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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PT. MOLATE - WHERE OSPREY COME TO NEST
Osprey first began nesting in the San Francisco Bay Area in the year 2000, having moved their nesting range further south. Since 2008 they have been nesting at Pt. Molate and this year there are 6 active nests along Richmond's shoreline according to Tony Brake, volunteer at the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory and devoted chronicler of Osprey populations in the Bay Area.
Osprey nests are currently active throughout Pt. Molate and the peninsula. There are two nests at Pt. Molate - one out on Pt. Molate pier, and one just north of Pt. Molate Beach with the remaining three a few hundred yards north at Pt. Orient. Visit Pt. Molate Beach Park on April 13th between 1:30 and 2:30 during the CFSPM sponsored Coastal Education Day, and meet Tony Brake and see his stunning collection of photos - and an Osprey or two no doubt!
Tony Brake - GG Raptor Observatory