The area named Marinship dominated Sausalito’s northern waterfront during World War II. The Bechtel Company built it in record time (consider the permitting process of today!) as homes and businesses were quickly razed and removed. Then Marinship, with some 20,000 workers on the payroll and 22 buildings on site, began turning out Liberty ships in record time.
According to Marin, A History (Potrero Meadow Publishing, 2006), the William A. Richardson—named for an original Sausalito landowner and measuring 441 feet in length while weighing 10,500 tons — was constructed in 91 days. In the early summer of 1945, Marinship began gearing up for “Dagwood,” a top-secret project. The task was to build specialized barges for the invasion of Japan. Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Japan’s subsequent surrender ended that project prematurely.
Note that the light-colored, multistoried, barrel roof building in the background is still standing. It’s the ICB Building, now home to dozens of painters, photographers and sculptors. The squat, rectangular buildings in the foreground currently house the Army Corps of Engineers’ Bay Model.