January 17, 2014

'Dream city' on shipyard site

Contributed by Lincoln Cushing, Archivist and Historian

In the fall of 1944, Americans were looking forward to the end of World War II.   The staff at Fore’N'Aft, the Kaiser Richmond Shipyards' employee newsletter, could daydream of a bright and shiny future for themselves when the shipyards were no longer needed.

A new world could be created in what had been bay and mudflats a few years before — one with ample modern housing and permanent commercial buildings.

Leland Hyde, a graphic artist, drew up plans (shown above) for a futuristic city on the site.  The "dream city" featured sweeping boulevards, highrise buildings interspersed with parks and a super-efficient freeway on the bay. The Marina Bay development partially fulfilled Hyde's dream.  But luckily the bay restoration and trail project supplanted the plan for an ultra-modern freeway.