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What Might Have Been

In the mid-1950s, Richardson Bay was set to contain 2,000 homes and a marina.

IN THE EARLY 1950s, southern Marin was alive with development. Strawberry, Belveron Gardens and the Belvedere Lagoon were either on the drawing board, under construction or awaiting occupancy. Into that mix comes Utah Construction Company with an option to buy 700 acres of Richardson Bay tidelands, stretching from Strawberry to Belvedere in southern Marin. The plan, according to Barry Spitz’s Marin, A History, was to fill parts of the bay “with dirt scraped off the top of Tiburon’s hills” and build 2,000 waterfront homes. Not so fast, said David Steinhardt, Caroline Livermore and Elizabeth Terwilliger. With help from the National Audubon Society, the trio formed a foundation, raised $230,000 and bought back the tidelands. Today, the Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary protects what had once been slated to be Reeds Port.

Photo courtesy of Weber State University: Utah Construction Company (via the Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society)

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