Tom Butt for Richmond City Council The Tom Butt E-Forum About Tom Butt Platform Endorsements of Richmond Councilmember Tom Butt Accomplishments Contribute to Tom Butt for Richmond City Council Contact Tom Butt Tom Butt Archives
  E-Mail Forum
  Big Week Coming Up for Historic Preservation in Richmond
November 3, 2005

With the timing entirely coincidental, two big moves are scheduled this week for some of Richmond’s historical icons.


  • On Friday, November 4, the 210-ton Whirley Crane, the only one remaining from the WW II Shipyard days, will be barged from Levin Richmond Terminal to a permanent exhibit area adjacent to the Red Oak Victory at historic Shipyard 3, part of the Rosie the Riveter WW II Home Front National Historical Park. For safety reasons, the move is not open for public viewing. For additional information, se the attached press releases and Be a Part of History; Contribute to the Big Move! and June 11, 2005, Whirley Crane Relocation on Track, July 27, 2005. The project is a partnership of the National Park Service, the City of Richmond and the Rosie the Riveter Trust. The cost of approximately $150,000 was paid for with donations from Richmond residents and businesses.


  • The historic Santa Fe Reading Room, also known as the “Trainmaster Building” will be moved from the BNSF yards along the Garrard (east) leg of the Richmond Parkway to a spot just north of the Richmond Plunge, where it will be incorporated into a new park-like gateway to Point Richmond. The Santa Fe Reading Room is a 102-year old building that is the oldest extant component of the original Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe rail yards that, along with what is now the Chevron Refinery, was the reason for the founding of the City of Richmond. The clearest description of the original purpose of the Reading Room is recorded in a 1910 souvenir magazine edition of the Richmond Independent, printed in celebration of Richmond’s founding ten years earlier.


Santa Fe Reading Room - Last, but not least, comes the reading room system under Mr. S.E. Busser. The motto of the department is: “Give a man a bath, a book and an entertainment that appeals to his mind and hopes by music and knowledge and you have enlarged, extended and adorned his life; and as he becomes more faithful to himself, he is more valuable to the company.” All of the citizens of Richmond can vouch for the quality of the entertainments, which are well attended at each season. They are the best that can be obtained and they are free to railroader and non-railroader, alike. There are about five hundred books, all current magazines, pool and billiard tables, and bath rooms at the Richmond reading room of which Mrs. Ida B. Baker is librarian. Mr. Busser says that the high mental and moral tone of Santa Fe employees is due to the reading room system. The people of Richmond have no argument to offer on that score because they realize Santa Fe Reading Room, more recently known as the Trainmaster’s office that the Santa Fe men are uniformly high-minded, clean-lived citizens and if, to the reading room system belongs the credit then long live the system!


The project is being undertaken at no cost to the City of Richmond by a non-profit corporation known as Point Richmond Gateway, consisting of volunteers and led by Martin McNair. Full information on the project is available at http://www.pointrichmond.com/gateway/index.htm and April 25, 2005 Project Data and Site Plan - Acrobat .PDF Document (1.3MB), See the April 25, 2005 Design Review Board Phase One Conditional Approval Documents- Acrobat .PDF Document (1.4KB) and See the October 7, 2005 Gateway Project Summary from Tom Butt - Acrobat .PDF Document (449KB), or call Martin McNair at (510) 232-4232, if you are interested in volunteering, contributing, or investing in the LLC that will develop the adjoining property currently owned by BNSF but soon to be conveyed.


Whirley_Crane_release 2_5_.pdf