Historic Rail Building Reborn as Bank

October 30, 2007

By Nicholas Kusnetz

The Mechanic’s Bank opened its new Point Richmond branch in the newly restored Santa Fe Reading Room Monday, marking the rebirth of one of the city’s oldest buildings. Representatives from city and state government joined bank officials and community leaders to commemorate the event at the corner of Garrard Boulevard and East Richmond Avenue.

The opening marks years of work by Point Richmond residents and community groups, which moved the structure from its original place at the Santa Fe Rail Yards north of Point Richmond to its new spot at the gateway to the historic and wealthy neighborhood.

“This is one of those situations where the outcome is greater than the sum of its parts,” said Richard Mitchell, Richmond director of planning and building services. “From a planning standpoint, this works well.”

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Music on the Main Draws a Crowd to Historic Downtown Richmond

September 27, 2007

Music on the Main

By Anna McCarthy

The parking lot at MacDonald Avenue and Marina Way was busier than usual Wednesday night by about 100 neighbors and passersby, who enjoyed steaming barbeque, good conversation and some of the best foot-stomping blues bands in the Bay Area.

The event, Music on the Main, is one of a number of promotional activities, including a summer concert series and various holiday receptions, designed by the Main Street Initiative to attract residents and merchants to downtown Richmond. Leaders of the initiative have been working with neighborhood councils and surveying residents on ways to create a downtown that best serves the needs of the community.

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Topics of Interest – Economy

September 15, 2007

During the rapid economic growth and associated population boom of World War II, Richmond became an epicenter of economic activity. After the war, federal funding dropped off and demand for jobs from the massively expanded population far exceeded availability. The city had attracted a diverse population of workers during the war, but those workers now faced a host of unemployment and segregation/civil rights issues. Over the years, the city built its economy around various important companies such as Chevron, Kaiser Permenente, and various government services.

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