In 2014, the City acquired the 900 Innes property, which is adjacent to the existing India Basin Shoreline Park and India Basin Shoreline Open Space. Together with India Basin Shoreline Park, the City plans to design and build a new, world-class 8-acre park that will provide local residents with direct access to parks, open space and new recreational opportunities.
Set on the India Basin shoreline, the 900 Innes site includes both land (1.8 acres) and submerged areas (0.6 acres). Abutting two existing SFRPD–owned parks, India Basin Shoreline Park and India Basin Open Space, it is a postindustrial brownfield site used most recently to store construction equipment.
The 1870s-era Shipwright’s Cottage, a one-story wood-frame house on the property has been designated as City Landmark No. 250. The oldest known Victorian workers’ cottage on the San Francisco waterfront, and one of the city's oldest buildings, the cottage is currently closed and in need of renovation.
A collection of aging maritime structures likely constructed between 1930 and 1943 are also located on the site but are in very poor condition. A 120-foot long decayed wharf extends out into the cove.
The Shipwright’s Cottage—the first dwelling built in the neighborhood—launched the golden era of India Basin’s boat-building industry, which crafted most of San Francisco’s historically significant scow-schooner fleet. By the 1890s, two generations of shipwright families lived and worked in the immediate vicinity of 900 Innes. The yard produced Jack London’s famous 74-foot schooner, World War I submarine chasers and World War II minesweepers, and it was involved in the refurbishment of the historic scow-schooner Alma. It was an active boat-building and repair yard until the late 1990s.
The Shipwright’s Cottage is the first and only remaining dwelling in India Basin that sits adjacent to the boatyard, which once contributed to the city’s flourishing water-borne cargo industry. The City and County of San Francisco purchased the property in 2014, and it is held under a memorandum of understanding among the Real Estate Division, the Mayor’s Office of Public Finance and SFRPD.
India Basin Shoreline Park
This existing 5.6-acre park will be redesigned to better serve the surrounding community and enhance citywide programs. Hunters Point Boulevard and the adjacent new park space at 900 Innes will be connected via new biking and walking paths. Closer to the shoreline, a new wetland habitat, an enhanced playground and recreational facilities will be developed.
The park is held in SFRPD’s portfolio of open space. The property currently includes two play structures, a basketball court, vehicular access, a turnaround and drop-off, parking spaces, swings, a 30-foot slide, lawns and trees, a segment of the Bay Trail, artwork by young local artists and high school students, barbecue grills, a water fountain, educational signage, shoreline access, wetlands and upland plantings, and seating areas.
Once a bustling harbor, India Basin included industry, open space, businesses and recreational facilities. Its extensive dry docks and shipyards buzzed with activity during the 1890s and boomed during the World Wars, when the basin was used as a marina. But by the early 1970s, boating and shipbuilding activity in the basin had declined dramatically.
In August 1999, Mayor Willie Brown named India Basin Shoreline Park a “Renaissance Park.” Supervised by the Trust for Public Land, Renaissance activities began with community outreach that focused on India Basin’s location along the Bay Trail, the creation of better access to the park and a survey of prospective improvements for when the park expands onto land already owned by SFRPD.
Park improvements began in September 2000, supported by $179,300 in funding from the Open Space Committee, the Community Development Building Grant and the San Francisco Conservation Corps, along with $378,000 from The Trust for Public Land. The Bay Trail through India Basin Shoreline Park was completed, green spaces were expanded, and grading, fencing, planting, benches and a playground and a basketball court were installed.
Fifteen years later, The Trust for Public Land will revisit India Basin Shoreline Park, beginning a community process to identify programmatic elements and improvements necessary to make the park more vibrant.