through a 1998 competition open to West Coast
artists, the team describes their design as a
"construction metaphor exploring the symbolic
connection between building ships and the reconstructive
processes of human memory."
Quote on armrest at overlook
platform reads, "You must tell your
children, putting modesty aside, that
without us, without women, there would
have been no Spring in 1945."
The principal component is a walkway, the length
of a ship's keel, which slopes toward the San
Francisco Bay and aligns with the Golden Gate
path is inscribed with a timeline about the
home front and quotes from women workers sandblasted
into white granite. Sculptural elements of stainless
steel encountered on the walkway are drawn from
ship's blueprints and suggest the unfinished
forms of hull, stack and stern under construction.
gardens - one of rockrose and one of dune grass
- occupy the location of the ship's fore and
enamel panels on the hull and stack reproduce
memorabilia and letters gathered from former
shipyard workers during the course of the Memorial
project, along with photographs of women at
work in jobs across the nation.
panels, quotes and timeline illustrate the complex
opportunities, challenges and hardships faced
by women during the war years, including gender
discrimination, hazardous working conditions,
food rationing, and shortages of housing and
Memorial was commissioned by the City of Richmond
and the City of Richmond's Redevelopment Agency.
photographs on this page courtesy of Lewis Watts.