Treasure Island revisited, a photo tour
There is something cool about visiting an island in the middle of San Francisco bay. Treasure Island has such a kitschy title that harkens back to something mysterious and full of surprises, considering it was named after the novel Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson who live briefly in the city. Entirely man-made from landfill, the island was originally planned as an airport for the popular Pan-American clipper planes, but instead it was used strategically to host the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939-1940, and later became a naval base. Currently the island is used for rental housing, cinema studios for the large hangers, office rentals and special events.
On a clear day from Treasure Island, you can see gorgeous views around the bay from the hillside coastal ranges all the way through the Golden Gate Bridge and beyond to the Pacific ocean. In fact you get a 360 degree view of the entire Bay Area from here and adjoining Yerba Buena Island. Alcatraz island is just in front of you, with the Golden Gate bridge in the background, the Marin headlands and Sausalito is just to the right of the bridge. On the left of the bridge are expansive views of San Francisco’s skyline and bay front. Treasure Island connects to the Bay Bridge which directs traffic from San Francisco to the East bay cities of Oakland and Berkeley. A new extension bridge is being built on the Oakland side with a modern single suspension span that will bring the wow factor to Oakland and the general East Bay.
Outside of the killer views, there is one beautiful building worth visiting on the island and it’s just pass the gatehouse. The only surviving structure left from the exposition, Building One as it is called is designed in the streamline moderne style. After the exposition, it was planned to be the main air terminal for the Pan Am clipper planes and was used in succession as a naval strategic command center, a museum, and now for develop authority functions, offices and special events. Inside and out of this grand structure are deco period architectural details, sculpture and other art deco memorabilia. There are beautifully painted murals on the upper balcony showcasing s sampling of local commerce, industry and Bay Area activities.
One of the best ways to enjoy the island and visit Building One would be to check out the monthly antique and collectibles market happening on the last weekend of every month. There are a lot of treasures to dig up at this flea market, look out for some cool memorabilia, fun and quirky objects, retro clothing and re-purposed products. After digging up all those new-found treasures, you might want to take a break and try some of the tasty food trucks lining the grass mall with gorgeous views of the city. There’s nothing better than have a great lunch with killer views of the city to enjoy and admire the cool treasures and gifts that you purchased at the market.
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