In 1935, the shoals north of Yerba Buena Island were chosen as the sight for the International Expo World Fair. To build the 403 acre island, 29 million cubic yards of sand and gravel were brought from the bay and Sacramento Delta area. Because the fill contained washed out dirt from the gold mining days of the Sierras, the island was named Treasure Island. Once construction was completed, Treasure Island hosted the fair in 1939 and 1940. But in 1941, the military rented it from the city of San Francisco to serve as a military base for the war. In 1993, it was closed and given back to the city.
This book captures a brief moment in the history of the place.
I started to photograph in November of 2003, but by early December I had only two images I liked. These images had boarded buildings in the background and cactuses in front. Left alone, the buildings were falling apart and vegetation was thriving!
About mid-December my mom had a heart attack and was in a hospital for ten days. The day after she was released she was ambulanced back to the hospital. When I arrived, she had her eyes closed. As I stroked her forehead, I was told she was no longer with us. Her skin was still soft and her body not yet cold. This was Treasure Island. In the twilight, as the page was turning, I saw the same bittersweet landscape with its great universal beauty. I returned to Treasure Island in January, and this is what I captured on film, a place just dead, Treasure Island.
|The book was dedicated to Mehry and her radiant love.