pahavit (pahavit) wrote,

Cooley Landing

Cooley Landing

Cooley Landing is a small 9-acre peninsula that extends into tidal marshlands and mud flats at the edge of San Francisco Bay, near Ravenswood Open Space Preserve. D. and I went there on Saturday, and I took some pics.

The view of the salt marsh to the north.

This mockingbird sang almost non-stop the whole time we were there.

This fence runs along the border of Ravenswood Open Space Preserve.

We find a lowland area strewn with concrete rubble.  It looks like a building got demolished and its remains dumped here throughout the wetland.

Over the years soil has accumulated in the nooks and crannies of the debris, giving rise to several rough gardens.

Rebar bristles out of this broken chunk of concrete.

A view south over the mudflats.

Iceplant blossoms in the sun.

More crazy rebar.

Brass Buttons, an introduced perennial, are abloom around a small seasonal pool.

This chunk of tile looks like it's from a foyer.

A curl of rebar makes an impromptu frame for the uplands area of the site.

A section of rusting conduit is an interesting study of textures.

I suddenly become aware of a creature beneath one of the stunted trees at the edge of the rubble.  At first I think it might be a coyote, but it is actually a gray fox, a native species slowly being squeezed out of its native habitats by the introduced red fox.

It is unusual to see this fox, especially during the middle of the afternoon.

The green tag on its ear means that wildlife biologists are keeping tabs on it.  All the little crevices among the rubble probably make fine dens for this small animal.

What an unsettling expression on its face.

The black acacias are bursting with fuzzy blooms.

A building comes into view, partially.

It is the remains of an abandoned boat repair house.

In a meadow at the edge of the Bay, I find a bridge to nowhere lying on the grass.

Coming up the meadow, the building comes into better view.

Rusted debris and flowers in the meadow.

A look across San Francisco Bay to the Diablo Range to the east.  Yes, it's very low tide.

Getting closer.

In the 1800s, the site was home to a shipping wharf and dairy and poultry farming operations. Dry land is close to deep water here, making it a prime location for a wharf.  Eventually, Lester Cooley operated a ranch and reestablished the landing as Cooley Landing. From the 1930s to the late 1950s the site was used as a county dump, forming most of the current landmass.  After the dump closed, the site was used by the Palo Alto Boat Works, whose abandoned building I am approaching.

The dilapidated boat launch structure at the rear of the building.

One of the more striking graffiti images on the north side of the building.

The building's north side.

Next to the building is a depression in the ground filled with algae-covered water.

The boat works building's owner also owned a dredge vessel which he parked on the site after he failed to make a go of hiring it out.  He built a small levee around the vessel to protect it from rough seas, and converted the vessel into what became essentially a house boat for himself and his wife.  After being abandoned it burned to the ground under mysterious circumstances, and when its remains were removed, left behind the pit.

Looking out into the bay we see a few green-winged teal.

An all-too-common sight at low tide in the Bay.

Another view across the Bay to the east.

A view from one of the site's jetties toward the boat launch structure.

A look inside of the building, with de rigueur graffiti.

A hoist was used by the boat works facility, probably to move vessels being repaired.

More graffiti.

They've got metallic markers, and they're not afraid to use them.

A window on the world.

A shot of the interior from the other side of the space.

The former office area.

The south side of the exterior.

Next to the front of the building is a steel water tank.

Graffiti on the tank makes for some interesting abstract pictures.

Next to the water tank is a pile of metal stakes, making some interesting patterns of their own.

A California poppy bobs in the breeze coming off the bay.

More tires.

Looking back at the building from the north side of Cooley Landing.

Nearby is a voodoo lily, probably planted by the boat repair guy or his wife at some point.

The debris left behind after the dredge vessel burned is becoming engulfed by vegetation.

Some of the debris forms an arch, framing the Dumbarton Bridge in the background.

The empty shell of a milk snail in the grass is a tiny echo of the empty, abandoned building nearby.

I ask myself this question almost every day.

Tags: abandoned, algae, bird, cooley landing, duck, fence, field trip, flower, fox, graffiti, junk, milk snail, poppy, rebar, rust, snail, window
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