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Treasure Island Museum News

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"You Are Here: The Story of Treasure Island," Free Exhibit Opening & Art Unveiling

Join us in a celebration of our new gallery space and exhibit!

“You Are Here: The Story of Treasure Island”

Free Exhibit Opening & Art Unveiling

Saturday, September 17, 10:30 am - 12 pm

Open House from 12 pm - 5pm

On September 17th, the Treasure Island Museum and District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey are celebrating the building’s recent expansion with a brand new exhibit, “You Are Here: The Story of Treasure Island,” featuring a new timeline and treasured artifacts highlighting the island’s history.

This is the first exhibit in the museum’s new and expanded space in Treasure Island’s legendary Building One. It represents a rebirth of the Treasure Island Museum, which has operated with just a single room for exhibitions since 2010. It previously operated from 1975 to 1997, when it shut its doors with the closing of Naval Station Treasure Island.

The event, free and open to the public (with donation encouraged), will feature remarks by Supervisor Dorsey, who has been a strong supporter of the Treasure Island Museum’s expansion. Mike Hennahane, the President of Treasure Island Museum’s Board of Directors, artist Brian Labrie, and exhibit curators and designers, will also be speaking.

"Treasure Island has been a surprise from the first time I set foot on this man-made marvel,” said Michael Hennahane. “Its history includes the Port Chicago trial, which led to the desegregation of the Navy; the first NCAA basketball tournament; the Golden Gate International Exposition, and so much more. Few know about these important moments in history that took place right under our nose– we’re hoping to change that.”

Brian Labrie is a local artist who has made digital posters of Alcatraz, the Claremont Hotel, Fox Theater, Japanese Tea Gardens and more. During the festivities on the 17th, he will unveil his new Treasure Island Museum poster. Brian will be present throughout the day and will be signing posters.

About the Exhibit

Drawing on Treasure Island Museum’s rich collection, “You are Here” tells the story of Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island through a timeline featuring historical artifacts and photographs. Timeline highlights include:

  • Yerba Buena Island’s Naval Training Station (1900s-1920): At one point, the small Naval Training station on YBI housed up to 13,000 soldiers during WWI.

  • The Building of the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island (1933-1937): The Bay Bridge was an engineering marvel at the time, and continues to provide access to San Francisco and the East Bay for over 100,000 vehicles every day. Soon after its construction, the US Army Corps of Engineers began filling the shallow shoals near Yerba Buena Island to construct Treasure Island. The island was intended to be used first as a site for a world's fair, and later as a new airport for San Francisco.

  • The Golden Gate International Exposition (1939-1940): The Golden Gate International Exposition was a world's fair held on Treasure Island in 1939-1940. The exhibit features stunning photographs of the fair by Clifford Mitchell who attended the GGIE frequently. On show will be slides recently donated by his daughter, Sharon Pryor.

  • Pan Am Clippers (1938-1942): Treasure Island briefly served as an airport during the GGIE– for Pan Am Clippers which took off and landed in the water. These clippers were airplanes known as “flying boats” and they used Clipper Cove (located between Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island) as their runway.

  • WWII Naval Station Treasure Island (1942-1945): Naval Station Treasure Island was a major point of embarkation and debarkation for sailors and Marines going to and from the Pacific Theater of Operations during WWII. As the “Gateway to the Pacific,” a total of 4.5 million servicemen and servicewomen passed through Treasure Island, and NAVSTA was in charge of feeding, housing, training, and entertaining them during their stay.

  • Post-World War II Naval Station: Following World War II, Treasure Island continued as a major training and administrative center for the Navy, and it resumed troop training and processing during the Korean, Vietnam, and Gulf Wars. In 1997, the Navy closed the base, and transfer of ownership to the City of San Francisco began.

For press inquiries, please reach out to James Faccinto at


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