Hunters Point (San Francisco)

From Academic Kids

Hunters Point or Bayview-Hunters Point is a neighborhood in the southeastern portion of San Francisco, California. Cut off from the rest of San Francisco by U.S. Highway 101, it is the site of the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, which is still being cleaned up by the United States Navy due to toxic and radioactive waste issues. Residential development still is slowed by the active industrial sector of the neighborhood, the last industrial area remaining in San Francisco. One of the poorest and most crime-ridden parts of the city, it has also been one of the few neighborhoods in San Francisco where gentrification has not occurred. The neighborhood was once predominantly inhabited by African Americans but is now ethnically mixed in some areas.

Missing image
This thematic map shows the population levels of African Americans in San Francisco. Hunters Point is in the extreme southeastern part of the city with the highest concentration of African Americans in the city.

The neighborhood was created as mostly landfill extensions into the San Francisco Bay during the early 20th century. The land was appropriated by the United States Navy at the onset of World War II and became one of the major shipyards of the west coast. Many African-Americans moved into the area to work at this shipyard and other wartime related industries in the area. After the war, the area became a naval base and commercial shipyard, as most of the cities major blue collar industries moved here as well as more African-Americans displaced by the urban renewal programs happening in the Western Addition. The Navy closed the shipyard and Naval base in 1994 and gave it back to the city. Redevelopment has stalled there due to the rising and difficult costs of toxic removal and cleanup as well as the crime rate and low demand for the area.

The neighborhood's population has changed considerably over the years -- a declining African American population has moved to other Bay Area cities, notably Antioch, Oakland and Richmond while Latinos, Asians, and whites represent a growing part of the neighborhood.

The Bayview-Hunters Point region has a complicated system of gang turfs. The foothills bordering the hills of Hunters Point are claimed by several different gangs and have sparked much violence and gang fights.

Murals featuring African American pride are common in Hunters Point. Graffiti is also rampant in many sections of the neighborhood.

Plentiful public housing has kept land values low by San Francisco standards; subsequently, Hunters Point has one of the highest home ownership rates in the city.

Hunters Point has among the worst performing schools in San Francisco, and the San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Arlene Ackerman has recently initiated her "Dream Schools" initiative, which aims to provide smaller, more efficient schools. The youth of this neighborhood often travel several miles daily to go to schools in other parts of the city, having a commute significantly longer than that of their peers.

One of the city's current projects with this neighborhood is the Third Street Light Rail Project, further completing the city's expanding mass transit system into less serviced neighborhoods. The construction has caused traffic jams, detours, and other temporary transportation problems on Third Street. The bridge crossing Highway 101 that connects Bayshore Boulevard and Third Street is also closed due to it. Residents are widely skeptical of this project, most likely ensuring gentrification in one of the least developed neighborhoods in San Francisco.

Hunters Point also has a unique microclimate - the warmest in all of foggy San Francisco, often never experienced by most of the city's residents.

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