Alameda Works Shipyard

The Alameda Works Shipyard, in Alameda, California, United States, was one of the largest and best equipped shipyards in the country. The only building remaining from the yard is the Union Iron Works Powerhouse, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.1956.[2]

Alameda Works Shipyard
Alameda County, California
Union Iron Works Powerhouse.jpg
Union Iron Works Powerhouse
Site history
In use1900s–1956
Union Iron Works Powerhouse
Alameda Works Shipyard is located in Oakland, California
Alameda Works Shipyard
Alameda Works Shipyard is located in California
Alameda Works Shipyard
Alameda Works Shipyard is located in the United States
Alameda Works Shipyard
LocationAlameda, California
Coordinates37°47′13″N 122°16′31″W / 37.78694°N 122.27528°W / 37.78694; -122.27528Coordinates: 37°47′13″N 122°16′31″W / 37.78694°N 122.27528°W / 37.78694; -122.27528
NRHP reference No.80000793[1]
Added to NRHPJanuary 10, 1980
Union Iron Works Turbine Machine Shop and shipyard in Alameda
USS Wickes (DD-75) built at Alameda Works Shipyard in 1917


Risdon Iron Works Building in 1905

Established in the early 1900s by the United Engineering Company, the yard was purchased by Union Iron Works (later called Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation) in 1916 and came to be known as the Alameda Works.

During World War I the yard built cargo, and tankers. For the US Navy built Wickes-class destroyers, United States R-class submarines, United States S-class submarines, Clemson-class destroyer.

The site was expanded from 7 acres (2.8 ha) to 75 acres (30 ha) with facilities for constructing up to six major vessels simultaneously. After 1923, the Alameda Works ceased making ships but continued its dry docking and ship repair operations.[3]

At the beginning of World War II, the Alameda Works was re-established as the Bethlehem Alameda Shipyard, and modernized and expanded to include new shipways and on-site worker housing. During the war, the yard repaired more than 1,000 vessels and produced P-2 Admiral-type troop ships, and it continued to produce structural steel. Also built at the yard for World War II were Cherokee-class tugboats and YC barges. The yard was run by Todd Shipyards starting in 1949 as Todd Shipyard San Francisco Division. The yard was used for shipbuilding, repair yard and ship conversions. Shipbuilding came to an end in the early 1900s and the yard was closed in 1956.[2][4]

Union Iron Works PowerhouseEdit

This power station was designed by San Francisco architect Frederick Meyer, one of many designed for the Pacific Gas and Electric Company in Northern California between 1905 and the 1920s. It is a one-story rectangular industrial building, 25 feet (7.6 m) high, 53 feet (16 m) wide and 110 feet (34 m) long, that rests on a concrete base. Designed in a simplified Renaissance Revival style, the powerhouse is an excellent example of a building type-the "beautiful" power house-for which the San Francisco Bay Area was nationally known. It contained several large generators and was constructed specifically to meet the massive electricity requirements of the yards.1956.[2][5][6]

Today, the little building that once powered an entire shipyard has been converted into private office space and is closed to the public.


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 15, 2006.
  2. ^ a b c "Todd Shipyards San Francisco Division, Alameda CA".
  3. ^ "Bethlehem Shipyard".
  4. ^ "Bethlehem San Francisco, Union Iron Works".
  5. ^ "Union Iron Works Powerhouse (U.S. National Park Service)".
  6. ^ "National Register #80000793: Union Iron Works Powerhouse in Alameda, California".


  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Park Service.