Treasure Island, San Francisco
|— Neighborhood of San Francisco —|
|Yerba Buena Island.|
|• Board of Supervisors||Jane Kim|
|• State Assembly||Tom Ammiano (D)|
|• State Senate||Mark Leno (D)|
|• U.S. House||Nancy Pelosi (D)|
|• Total||4 km2 (1.5 sq mi)|
|• Land||4 km2 (1.5 sq mi)|
|• Density||500/km2 (1,400/sq mi)|
Treasure Island is an artificial island in the San Francisco Bay between San Francisco and Oakland, and an emerging neighborhood of San Francisco. The island is entirely within the City and County of San Francisco, whose territory extends far into San Francisco Bay and includes a tip of Alameda Island. Treasure Island is connected by a small isthmus to Yerba Buena Island. According to the United States Census Bureau, Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island together have a land area of 2.334 km2 (0.901 sq mi) with a total population of 2,500 as of the 2010 census. The island is named after the novel Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson, who lived in San Francisco from 1879 to 1880.
Treasure Island was created in 1936 and 1937, from fill dredged from the bay, for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition. The island is now a California Historical Landmark, honoring the site of the exposition. The 535-acre (2.17 km2) man-made island was then acquired by the U.S. Navy (obtained from the City of San Francisco due to US Naval war emergency needs on April 17, 1942), but later sold to the city of San Francisco for $108 million as part of a redevelopment project. On June 8, 2011, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a 19,000 person new neighborhood to be developed on it over the next 20–30 years by Wilson Meany Sullivan, Lennar Urban, and Kenwood Investments.
The island is set to begin a US$1.5 billion redevelopment project in 2012 called the Treasure Island Development. The project plan will add up to 8,000 new residences, 140,000 sq ft (13,000 m2) of new commercial and retail space, 100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2) of new office space, three Hotels, and 300 acres (120 ha) of parks.
Treasure Island is connected to Yerba Buena Island, which has exits and entrances into and out of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge (I-80) in both directions. Travel between Yerba Buena and Treasure Islands and the rest of San Francisco is toll-free.
There is one bus line that serves the island: San Francisco Muni's bus 108. Before the Transbay Terminal was demolished, this bus line was the only Muni bus line to use the Transbay Terminal ramps, similar to the east bay Transbay buses.
When the replacement eastern span of the Bay Bridge is completed, it will carry a bikeway that connects Yerba Buena and Treasure Islands with Oakland.
Treasure Island was built with imported fill on shoals on the north side of Yerba Buena Island for the Expo in 1939. The connected Yerba Buena Island sits in the middle of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge. Built by the federal government, Treasure Island was planned for and used as an airport for Pan American World Airways flying boats, of which the China Clipper is an example. The flying boats landed on the Port of Trade Winds Harbor / Clipper Cove which lies between Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island. Full construction of Pan Am's headquarters was diverted. Instead, Treasure Island’s ﬁrst role was to host the 1939-40 World’s Fair, Golden Gate International Exposition. Themes for the Fair were Paciﬁc Unity, Peace and Innovation. For two years, tourists and locals alike were enthralled by many international pavilions and exhibits, lush gardens, dramatic nighttime lighting displays, lively entertainment, and striking public art. After the fair, the Island was scheduled to be used as an airport until the Navy offered to exchange Mills Field on the San Francisco Peninsula near the cities of San Bruno and Millbrae in San Mateo County for the island. The City and County of San Francisco accepted the swap, and the airport was built at Mills Field.
During World War II, Treasure Island became part of the Treasure Island Naval Base, and served as an electronics and radio communications training school, and as the major Navy departure and receiving point for sailors in the Pacific aboard surface ships and submarines. The Naval Station also served as an Auxiliary Air Facility airfield for airships, blimps, dirigibles, planes, and seaplanes by Hangars / Bldgs. 2 & 3. The seaplanes landed in the Port of Trade Winds Harbor. In honor for his dedicated service for developing the Treasure Island Naval Station and Auxiliary Air Facility from inception the Navy named Rear Admiral Hugo Wilson Osterhaus square in front of Building One. Also, World War II Medal of Honor recipient Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone USMC had a base movie theater (at Bldg 401 on Avenue I and 9th Street) named in his honor.
After the war, a training center for nuclear decontamination was established on the island. A full size mockup of a navy ship dubbed the USS Pandemonium was constructed in July 1956. Radioactive materials were placed on the land-locked ship in order to train crews in radioactive detection and cleanup. The Pandemonium remained in use until July 1969. It was moved from its original site and then demolished in 1996.
During the 1960s-1980s Treasure Island was used by the U.S. Navy for shipboard fire fighting and damage control training for Hull Maintenance Technicians and other sailors. Treasure Island housed the "USS Buttercup" (in Bldg. 341 on Avenue M and 4th Street) which was a static damage control trainer that was used for real time shipboard battle damage repair and control. The Auxiliary Air Facility airfield was limited to helicopter landing pad use at Naval Airship square on the East side of Hangar/Bldg. 3 near the Naval firehouse at Bldg. 111.
Additionally, the Hull Maintenance Technician Training School Phase "A" was trained at Treasure Island for Nuclear, Biological, Radiological and Chemical Warfare Training as part of their phase "A" and phase "B" training.
Treasure Island was also the location for the (nominal) 42-week Electronics Technician (ET) 'A-School'.
In 1996, Treasure Island and the Presidio Army Post were decommissioned and opened to public control, under stipulations. Treasure Island is now part of District 6 of the City and County of San Francisco, though it is still owned by the Navy. In 1993, the naval station was selected for closure, and Navy operations ended there in 1997. Some of the property was transferred to the Federal Highway Administration, the Labor Department and the U.S. Coast Guard, and the rest is open for development.
Problems have arisen over the determination of Treasure Island's fair-market value. The city's redevelopment agency, The Treasure Island Development Authority, valued the land at $13.8 million, and the city offered the Navy $40 million for the property. Two other estimates determined the fair market value at $250 million. However, in 2008 Congress offered the publicly held property to the city of San Francisco for nothing, under Section 2711 of HR 2647, drafted by Rep. Sam Farr.
Attractions and characteristics 
The island has raised walkways (on Clipper Cove Way (formerly 1st Street), Pan American World Airways Esplanade, Avenue of the Palms, Avenue N and Perimeter Road) circumscribing almost its entire bulk, which is popular for recreation. Sea lions can be observed in the water from the shoreline, and construction of the new eastern span of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge can be observed from the eastern part of the island.
The island used to have a gas station, but in 2012 the canopy, pumps, and nozzles were removed. It is served by a single Muni bus route, the 108 Treasure Island. It has a US Dept. of Labor Job Corps. training center, and is also home to San Franciscans and many college students who attend school downtown. The former Naval Firefighting School (Bldg. 600 on Avenue M and 10th Street) has been taken over by the San Francisco Fire Department Division of Training / Treasure Island Training Facility (TITF). One of the former Naval firehouses (Bldg. 157 on Avenue D and 10th Street), built as a temporary structure in the 1940s, has been taken over by the San Francisco Fire Department as SFFD Station 48 which also provides primary fire and medical response to Yerba Buena Island.
The island now serves as one of the popular tourist destinations and is a favorite scenic view of locals. A popular location for photographers, Treasure Island also serves as a popular spot to watch the sunset from the Magic Carpet Great Lawn as named during the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition.
Building 1 is a Streamline Moderne-styled remnant of the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition and is one of the few buildings remaining from the exposition. Originally intended as the terminal for the airport, it housed the Treasure Island Museum from 1976 to 1997. Today it serves largely as offices for The Villages, a private apartment rental agency, the SFPD Behavioral Science Unit and the Treasure Island Development Authority. The former housing for officers and their families is rented out to the general public, pending redevelopment and reconstruction of buildings on the island, slated for 2012-2014. The other buildings remaining from the exposition are Building 2 (Hangar 2) and Building 3 (Hangar 3).
A substantial part of the island is undergoing environmental cleanup by the federal government and the City of San Francisco has begun to attract commercial development on the island, most notably The Winery SF, a 20,000 sq ft (1,900 m2) winery, tasting room and event venue along the waterfront when you first enter the island. With the development of commercial enterprises like The Winery and special events, the island is beginning to develop hundreds of thousands of visitors to it each year and has become a popular place for visitors stop and take photos because of its spectacular views of the City of San Francisco.
Film studios 
In 1988, Treasure Island stood in for the Berlin airport in Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Numerous pictures starring Robin Williams were filmed on the island, including Flubber, What Dreams May Come, Patch Adams and Bicentennial Man. Sigourney Weaver's character in the thriller Copycat lived in an impressive private compound on the island. Also filmed there was The Parent Trap and it was used in an establishing shot of The Caine Mutiny, the trial which ostensibly takes place on Treasure Island, though this is never mentioned or referenced in the film.
Treasure Island hangars served as the stage location for the "bullet time" visual effect in The Matrix, as soundstages for the film adaptation of Rent directed by Chris Columbus, and also "The Pursuit of Happyness" starring Will Smith.
For three years Treasure Island served as the site of Comedy Central's Battlebots television show. The offices and penthouse apartment sets in Nash Bridges were located on the island during the show's production (1996–2001). The island was featured as the base of operations for the prototypers in the 2008 Discovery Channel series Prototype This!.
One of the warehouses on Treasure Island served as a film setting for an NBC series titled Trauma.
Hazards and risks 
After the Naval Station closed in 1997, Treasure Island was opened to residential and other uses, but according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Toxic Substances Control, the ground at various locations on the island is contaminated with toxic substances. Caesium-137 levels three times higher than previously recorded were found in April 2013. These are thought to date from the base's use by ships contaminated in post-war nuclear testing, and from a nuclear training facility previously based there.
Another risk of living on Treasure Island is the high risk of liquefaction during an earthquake. All of Treasure Island is built on landfill, and few if any of the buildings on the island were built to withstand a major earthquake, much less an earthquake magnified by liquefaction. Treasure Island is also at risk for potential Tsunami damage over its low lying bay water walkways.
The Cosco Busan oil spill of 2007 happened just a few hundred yards from Treasure Island. The majority of the pollution was carried by the bay currents to other shores; however, cleanup crews spent several weeks cleaning the coast of Treasure Island as well.
See also 
- "94130 Zip Code (San Francisco, California) Profile - homes, apartments, schools, population, income, averages, housing, demographics, location, statistics, sex offenders, residents and real estate info". City-data.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
- "California Historical Landmark: San Francisco County". Office of Historic Preservation. California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
- Kane, Will (8 June 2011). "S.F. approves Treasure Island plan". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- "Treasure Island : Development Project". Treasure Island Development Authority. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
- "Microsoft Word - Treasure Island HRA Feb 2006 Final.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-11-07.
- "Piracy on Treasure Island". The Washington Times. 2009-10-07. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
- Rep. Ike Skelton [D-MO4]. "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (2009; 111th Congress H.R. 2647)". GovTrack. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
- "San Francisco Attractions". SF-Attractions.
- "Treasure Island Museum Association". Retrieved 2008-07-20.
- "The Winery SF". Retrieved 2010-12-02.
- Ron Russell "Toxic Acres". SF Weekly. 24 May 2006. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- "Nuclear byproduct levels on Treasure Island higher than Navy disclosed - The Bay Citizen". Bay Citizen. 12 April 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Treasure Island, California|
- 1942 Naval Seizure controversy
- SF filming locations for Nash Bridges
- SFGov: Treasure Island Development Authority
- Yerba Buena and Treasure Island Website
- Treasure Island Community Website
- Treasure Island Music Festival
- Treasure Island Museum Association