Yerba Buena Island Neighborhood in San Francisco, CA
The conflict over one of San Francisco’s newest neighborhood developments gave rise to interesting discussions about the man-made island situated in the middle of San Francisco Bay. Yerba Buena Island is accessed by tunnel, ferry, and bridge. It is one of many “oddities” in the Golden Gateway to the Pacific, considered a controversial development that began during the Great Depression at the time the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges were both under construction. President Roosevelt believed these projects would be an excellent way to help jumpstart the economy.
The San Francisco Bay Bridge connects Yerba Buena Island to land on either side of it, and the Yerba Buena Tunnel creates a direct passageway through its center. Historically, Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island, which are connected, were huge, underwater sandbars that had no purpose, other than to be a nuisance for sailors. Ideas to boost the economy lent themselves to turning those sandbars into a man-made land mass. Yerba Buena and Treasure Islands became a premier naval base that was heavily utilized during the latter half of the twentieth century, and numerous historically significant events affected them. When the base was closed in the mid-1990s, plans to reconstruct the islands began, turning Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island into new neighborhoods.
Yerba Buena and Treasure Islands have phenomenal views of major cities like San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and San Rafael as well as majestic California mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The two islands are considered inseparable for the most part although their boundaries distinguish separate neighborhoods. The islands are a public destination, rich in history and recreational activities. Visitors enjoy their beaches, marinas, and wildlife. Residents of the islands live in a self-sufficient community and have access to California’s Bay Area mainland as well.