Rosie the Riveter Visitor Center Opens


If you’re a fan of Rosie the Riveter and plan on being in the Bay Area…  the long awaited Visitor Education Ceter at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historic Park opened  its doors to the public in a grand celebration on Saturday, May 26, 2012.

From the official blessing and singing of the Star Spangled Banner at 10:00am to the ribbon cutting for the new Bay Trail wayside signs at the historic shipyard, and park ranger led tours, there were be programs for visitors of all ages.

Curators from the Cal Berkeley Regional Oral History Office were on hand to meet candidates for the Oral History of the WWII Home Front project. Some of these interviews are posted online, and if you’re a die hard Rosie fan, you’ll want to check them out. Here’s an excerpt:

The new Rosie the Riveter Visitor Center education is located in the historic “Oil House” at 1414 Harbour Way South, suite 3000, Richmond, CA 94804.

The building’s restoration was made possible by a public/private partnership between the National Park Service, the City of Richmond, and Orton Development Inc. Marcy Wong Donn Logan Architects and Dalzell Corporation were responsible for the actual design and restoration/construction work. This architectural team has won a number of awards for the restoration of the adjacent Ford Assembly Building complex.

Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park was established in 2000 to preserve and interpret the stories and sites of our nation’s home front response to World War II. Park sites are spread throughout Richmond, CA and up until now, the park has had limited visitor services and no visitor center.

Even though the women who worked in the factories during WWII are called “Rosie the Riveters” many had other kinds of fabrication jobs– like welding!

  • Helyn Potter worked at the Curtis Wright Aircraft Plant making parts for the P-40 War Hawk for $1.10 an hour!
  • Mary Brancato welded tail pipes for the B29 airplanes at Davis Westholt in Wichita.
  • Susan Page welded at the shipyards for Western Pipe and Steel in South San Francisco.

And remember, if you’re carrying on the tradition of Rosie the Riveter, we’d like to feature you in our “New Rosie” column.


Photos courtesy of National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.


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