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Air Traffic | by Lost America
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Air Traffic

An abandoned drydock gantry crane under the OAK departures path at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, San Francisco, CA. Night, 160 tungsten chrome film, 6 minutes, f5.6, full moon. Shot April 2004.

 

In 2004, I was granted night access to the long forgotten and neglected, Hunters Point, Naval Shipyard. Over the course of 5 consecutive full moons I photographed in every corner of the nearly 500 acre facility. Originally opened as a commercial shipyard in 1870, the land was seized by the US military in 1942 and transformed into a vital repair base during WWII. The Navy closed the base in 1974 and most of the area has remained uninhabited ever since.

 

Stories of widespread radioactive contamination, it's location in one of the most crime-ridden neighborhoods in San Francisco and many locked and patroled gates have kept the base out of the public eye for decades. There are dozens of abandoned buildings. Warehouses, offices and drydock pumphouses, some dating all the way back to 1870. These are some of the oldest buildings in San Francisco, just abandoned and forgotten. Giant gantry cranes stand rusting alongside the broken and flooded drydocks. On the hill above the dockyards stands a residential neighborhood. Built in the 1920s and 30s and seized by the Navy for officers housing, it has also stood abandoned for 30 years. The streets look like a post apocalyptic movie set. The entire relic strewn base is just minutes from the downtown of one of the west coast's largest cities.

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Taken on April 8, 2004