A dilapidated warehouse building that probably shouldn’t have survived until now is the newest example of efforts in Richmond to retain and restore historically significant sites.
The Riggers Loft and Paint Shop, one of the few remaining buildings from the four Kaiser shipyards of World War II that once dominated the city’s waterfront, was an unlikely candidate for renovation, a point that was made during City Council discussions on its fate.
Wooden beams holding up the roof were rotting and the ceiling was on the verge of collapse. The original metal roll-up doors were rusting.
Today, there is new timber next to original pieces of lumber supporting the ceiling. The corrugated roll-up doors have been replaced and the outside has replications of the original art deco letters used for the building signs.
The building, located in the Port of Richmond next to the SS Red Oak Victory, was dedicated at Veterans Day ceremonies on Nov. 11 and speakers lauded its completion and addition to sites in the city’s Rosie the Riveter national park (see video below) before cutting the ribbon that dedicated the renovation.
And it appears that two more buildings at the Port of Richmond that once were part of Kaiser shipard No. 3 will be renovated.
In his remarks in the video below, port director Jim Matzorkis says negotiations are being finalized with the port’s master tenant for revitalization of the General Warehouse building and talks are underway on renovating the remaining cafeteria building on the port property.
Video of the dedication of the Riggers Loft includes remarks by the port director on plans to renovate two other former shipyard buildings: