Alameda's Bethlehem Shipyard
War I produced explosive growth in the Estuary's shipyards. One, the
Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, opened in 1916 in Alameda on the
site of the United Engineering Works, a small shipyard established in
1900. The Bethlehem plant eventually covered more than 80 acres on the
Estuary shore just east of the Posey Tube. Facilities included six
massive shipways and an enormous turbine machine shop, one of the
largest such structures on the Pacific coast. Wartime records were set
for speed of construction and for the first-ever quadruple launching.
During World War II the refurbished shipyard employed 6,200 men and
women in the construction of eight troopships and the repair of over
1,000 damaged vessels. After the wars, like other shipbuilding
enterprises, Bethlehem closed. The site is now occupied by Marina
Village, a mixed-use development from the 1980s including a shopping
center, business park, townhouses, and the largest privately owned
marina on San Francisco Bay.
"Walk Along the Water"
© Oakland Museum of California, used with permission.
History of the Union Iron Works Powerhouse, the only remaining
building from the Bethlehem Shipyard - National Parks Service
Image of Bethlehem Shipyard - Port of Oakland Archive,
used with permission
Photograph of remaining Bethlehem
Shipyard ways - Waterfront Action
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