Marin City, California

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Marin City
census-designated place
Marin City is located in California
Marin City
Marin City
Location in California
Coordinates: 37°52′07″N 122°30′33″W / 37.86861°N 122.50917°W / 37.86861; -122.50917Coordinates: 37°52′07″N 122°30′33″W / 37.86861°N 122.50917°W / 37.86861; -122.50917
Country  United States
State  California
County Marin County
 • County Board District 3
Kathrin Sears
 • Senate Mark Leno (D)
 • Assembly Marc Levine (D)
 • U. S. Congress Jared Huffman (D)[1]
 • census-designated place 0.537 sq mi (1.390 km2)
 • Land 0.537 sq mi (1.390 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
Elevation[3] 23 ft (7 m)
Population (2010)
 • census-designated place 2,666
 • Density 5,000/sq mi (1,900/km2)
 • Metro 7,468,390
Time zone PST (UTC−8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC−7)
ZIP code 94965
Area codes 415/628

Marin City is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Marin County, California, United States.[3] It is located 1.5 miles (2.4 km) northwest of downtown Sausalito,[4] and about 5 miles north of San Francisco from the Golden Gate Bridge, at an elevation of 23 feet (7 m).[3] Marin City was developed for housing starting in 1942, to accommodate war-time shipyard workers and other immigrants to California. After the war, the area became predominantly African-American, as white residents were able to move freely to private housing elsewhere in Marin. Since the 1980s, additional development has changed the makeup of the population while providing more local jobs. The population in 2010 was 2,666. Marin City's socioeconomic and racial makeup contrasts with the mostly wealthy and Caucasian populations in Marin County. In 2004 the community had high levels of poverty, crime, and recreational drug use.[5]


Prior to World War II, the land that would become Marin City was home to a dairy farm and a handful of families. Soon after war was declared on December 8, 1941, Marin City was rapidly built during 1942 in order to house 6,000 of the 20,000 workers who migrated from all over the United States, attracted by the jobs at Marinship, the Sausalito waterfront shipyard. A total of 93 liberty ships and tankers were built and launched from Marinship in less than three years.[6]

Many of the African-American shipyard laborers who had migrated from the Southern U.S. ended up living permanently in Marin City either by choice or because many black families were not allowed to live or buy homes in the towns surrounding Marin City.[6] They became the core of the community when most of the other guest laborers departed at the end of the war.[6] During the war, African-Americans comprised about 10% of Marin City's population. By the 1970s, African Americans comprised over three quarters of the population of Marin City, most of whom traced their roots to the Marinship laborers.[6]

During the 1980s and 1990s there was considerable residential and commercial development, including several new housing developments, apartment complexes, and condo developments.[6] There was also an expansion of commercial area particularly with the building of the Gateway Shopping Center in 1996, that displaced the locally renowned flea market.[6] Marin City has started to think about incorporating into a city.[7]


Marin City is located at 38°52'07" North, 122°30'33" West,[3] about 5 miles north of San Francisco.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP had an area of 0.537 square miles (1.391 km2)


The municipal authority for Marin City is the Marin City Community Services District (MCCSD), a multi-purpose California special district that is governed by a publicly elected five-member board of directors and is administered by a district manager and staff. As of June 2011, the District Manager is Monique Brown and the Board President is Nancy Johnson.[8]

Chartered in 1958, the MCCSD is responsible for providing services in the areas of parks and recreation, street lighting, recycling and refuse removal.

According to the Marin County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), the District has a total area of 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2).

Total operating revenue for MCCSD's fiscal year 2016–2017 was $1,300,000.


The 2010 United States Census[9] reported that Marin City had a population of 2,666. The population density was 4,967.0 people per square mile (1,917.8/km²). The racial makeup of Marin City was 1,037 (38.9%) White, 1,017 (38.1%) African American, 15 (0.6%) Native American, 287 (10.8%) Asian, 21 (0.8%) Pacific Islander, 120 (4.5%) from other races, and 169 (6.3%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 365 persons (13.7%).

Among the Asian population, largest ethnic groups were Vietnamese (3.0%), followed by Indians (2.9%), Filipinos (1.7%), Chinese (1.2%), Japanese (0.6%), Koreans (0.3%), and Other Asian (1.3%). Among Hispanics and Latinos, the largest ethnic groups were Mexican (5.7%), followed by Central Americans (3.4%), South Americans (1.8%), Puerto Ricans (0.6%), and Other Hispanics (2.0%).

The Census reported that 100% of the population lived in households.

There were 1,197 households, out of which 380 (31.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 298 (24.9%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 300 (25.1%) had a female householder with no husband present, 57 (4.8%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 85 (7.1%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 18 (1.5%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 427 households (35.7%) were made up of individuals and 94 (7.9%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23. There were 655 families (54.7% of all households); the average family size was 2.91.

The population was spread out with 633 people (23.7%) under the age of 18, 261 people (9.8%) aged 18 to 24, 820 people (30.8%) aged 25 to 44, 703 people (26.4%) aged 45 to 64, and 249 people (9.3%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.6 years. For every 100 females there were 83.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.4 males.

There were 1,309 housing units at an average density of 2,438.8 per square mile (941.6/km²), of which 30.7% were owner-occupied and 69.3% were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.1%; the rental vacancy rate was 8.6%. 27.2% of the population lived in owner-occupied housing units and 72.8% lived in rental housing units.

Notable residents[edit]

  • George Duke was born in San Rafael, and reared in Marin City.[10]
  • Jack Kerouac stayed in Marin City and nearby Mill Valley during his travels in the 1940s and 1950s. (He combined the two cities' names into "Mill City" in On the Road.)[11] Beat poet Lew Welch lived in Marin City during the 1960s. Jazz historian Grover Sales was his immediate neighbor.[12]
  • Tupac Shakur moved to Marin City with his family in 1988. He attended nearby Tamalpais High School, before moving to Oakland after graduation to pursue his music career.
  • William Del Monte, who as of July 2015, born in 1905, was the last living survivor of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.


Marin City is served by the Sausalito Marin City School District for primary grades (K-8) and the Tamalpais Union High School District for secondary grades. The K-8 district operates Bayside-Martin Luther King Jr. Academy, a K-8 school in Marin City. There is also Willow Creek Academy, a public charter school in Sausalito which is affiliated with the district. As of 2016 about 150 students in Marin City attended Willow Creek, while Bayside King had a total student enrollment of 143.[13]

In previous eras Grades K-6 were allowed to attended either Bayside Elementary School in Sausalito or Willow Creek Academy (a public charter school), both in Sausalito. Grades 7–8 attended Martin Luther King Jr. Academy in Marin City, or Willow Creek Academy. Residents may attend Willow Creek Academy, a K-8 school in Sausalito. Beginning in the fall of 2013, Bayside was scheduled to close, with Willow Creek taking the former Bayside campus, making MLK a K-8.[14] The consolidation of Bayside into MLK will be in effect in the fall of 2013.[15]

Students in grades 9–12 attend Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley.[16]

Marin City is also served by the Marin City Library, a branch of the Marin County Free Library that is within the Gateway Shopping Center.[17]


Homes sold in Marin City are often labeled as being located in Sausalito since Marin City shares the 94965 ZIP Code, the 331 and 332 telephone prefixes, and Sausalito Marin City School District with its close neighbor Sausalito. Most of the housing in Marin City was developed in the 1970s, '80s and '90s after much of the temporary Marinship housing put up in 1942 had been razed.


Once famous for the Marin City Flea Market which was forcibly closed in the mid-1990s, despite community protest, to make way for the Gateway Shopping Center, the MCCSD had planned to launch the smaller-scale Marin City Market Fest on selected Saturdays in the summer of 2006.


  1. ^ "California's 2nd Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ U.S. Census
  3. ^ a b c d U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Marin City, California
  4. ^ Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 660. ISBN 1-884995-14-4. 
  5. ^ "Rich Man's Ghetto." Metroactive. December 1, 2004. Retrieved on January 3, 2008.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Marin City looks to better days, by Dana Perrigan, San Francisco Chronicle. March 15, 2009. Retrieved on September 14, 2012
  7. ^ Marin City eyes incorporation to become independent city by Prado, Mark. Marin Independent Journal. July 31, 2012. Retrieved on September 14, 2012
  8. ^ Marin City Community Services District official site, accessed June 17, 2007
  9. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA – Marin City CDP". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Biography." George Duke. Retrieved on May 4, 2009.
  11. ^ The Beat generation in San Francisco: a literary tour by Bill Morgan, City Lights Books, 2003. p 214. ISBN 0-87286-417-0.
  12. ^ "Grover Sales: Agent Provocateur" by Robert Tate, (Archived March 16, 2006, at Internet Archive.)
  13. ^ "Willow Creek Academy Response to The August 10, 2016 FCMAT Report: Management Review of the Sausalito Marin City School District." Willow Creek Academy. September 14, 2016. Retrieved on September 27, 2016. p. 1 (PDF 6/31).
  14. ^ Prado, Mark. "Board vote will result in closure of Bayside School in Sausalito." Marin Independent Journal. January 24, 2013. Retrieved on February 3, 2013.
  15. ^ "K-8 Comprehensive Education Program." (Archive) Sausalito Marin City School District. Retrieved on February 3, 2013.
  16. ^ "SCHOOLS in the Tamalpais Union High School District and communities served." Tamalpais Union High School District. Retrieved on April 1, 2010.
  17. ^ "Marin City Library." Marin County Free Library. Retrieved on January 27, 2017.

External links[edit]