Blogging Bayport Alameda

April 14, 2014

There will be no white flag above my door

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, Development — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m horrible with visualizing the size of things in my head.  You tell me something is x number of feet long beyond the size of a normal human person and I won’t be able to picture it in my head.  So when someone asked me, hey did you know that the entry sign for Alameda Point being proposed by the City is 48 feet long, I knew it was large but I couldn’t figure out in my head how large that really was.

And then I saw the renderings, the first graphic shows where it’s going to be.  Looks big but not that big:




And then you see this one with the little shadow hipster guy providing a frame of reference and holy hell, it’s massive!



Unless the City is going to build a freeway on top of Appezzato and needs the sign to be large to catch people’s eyes while driving at 50 mph it seems a bit overkill.  There’s an option for the “Welcome to Alameda” signs to have a white background but personally it looks a little cheesy.   Flags at the entry, it’s a little boring since the Neptune Park entry already has flags.  And I remember one of the Alameda Landing options was to do flags at the entry as public art but I can’t recall if the flags or the sails were chosen.  I feel like flags are always the cop out to doing something more creative for an entry.

Otherwise, everything is okay.  The logo being used for the signage looks a little bit like the Mini Cooper logo, but it’s not terrible:



Also on the Planning Board agenda tonight is a presentation about Phase Zero at Alameda Point to start providing a there, there. Staff has begun closing deals on a fair number of long term leases so that’s a really great start. But they want to continue the momentum to make Alameda more desirable and these are some of the ideas so far:

1. Small Batch Village – a very quick interim town center.
Staff is working with the Pop-Up provider who helped construct the America’s Cup village in San Francisco. Currently, staff and the provider are studying the feasibility of installing temporary retail and entertainment spaces along the Seaplane Lagoon waterfront.

2. The Lagoon – new activity or facility on the water.
Staff has scheduled a summer canoe regatta in the Seaplane lagoon for June and is working on securing a kayaking vendor. In addition, staff is exploring converting current ramps into the Seaplane Lagoon into public access ramps for sailing.

3. Large Art.

4. Camp Grounds – ready and willing customers already in place.
Because of size and security issues at Alameda Point, urban camping needs further investigation and perhaps private operators who can ensure patrons adhere to rules and regulations. Staff has been exploring several proposals with the Recreation and Parks Department.

5. The Festival – get ‘thinkers’ to germinate THE annual event.
The logical annual event for Alameda Point seems to be the Fourth of July. The City has the Mayor’s Parade and AC Hornet will have its festivities. The middle part of the day seems ripe for some sort of activity at Alameda Point. Staff is working to determine how to make something happen in a very short period of time. Currently Staff is working with an entertainment company that sponsors fairs and special events throughout California.

6. Other Ideas:
· Staff is meeting with a local promoter to discuss developing a Summer Concert Series.
· Staff is working with a group to provide a Pop-Up Drive/Bike-In Theater.
· Staff is hoping to have a Food and Beverage Fair featuring the existing Alameda Point tenants who are in the food and beverage industry, accompanied by a food trucks.
· Building on the current artisans and Makers already present, staff hopes to offer a Maker’s Fair.
· Currently there are several recreational programs being considered, including creating a large chalk art installation on the runways.

I think all of these options are great.   I’ve heard the campground suggestion a fair amount and it would be one of the few urban campgrounds, but I can see how it could be difficult to manage if it’s not one of those staffed type campgrounds.   There a pretty large dragonboat racing community in the Bay Area and I believe Alameda has at least one team.  I wonder if the Seaplane Lagoon would be an appropriate place to host a dragonboat race.


  1. Bleah. Let’s make a historic site look like a desperate apartment building (for, example, the pleading signs on the slightly refurbished former low-income apartment complex just outside the Pointe’s main gate).

    Comment by Jack Mingo — April 14, 2014 @ 8:04 am

  2. Wondering how long it will take for the tagger to replace the P by a J , not much differnt than the former sign across the street which used to read Flea Market .
    Interesting name for toxic dump .

    Comment by frank — April 14, 2014 @ 8:28 am

  3. They want to make the entrance to the point beautiful, but as you come out of the tubes the entrance to Alameda need much work. It is better than it was but they don’t maintain it. They are spending money they don’t have…on Alameda Point.

    Comment by Joseph — April 14, 2014 @ 8:54 am

  4. One of my suggestion for the green space along Seaplane Lagoon would be like the Kayak rental place they built at Mission Bay Park along Mission Creek. Use the same plans…buy the blueprints…it doesn’t have to be unique. As far as urban campground…there is one already there, although it would take hundreds of thousands of $ to fix it up. I know they are keeping the Hornet, but what will happen to the rest of those ugly navy ships?

    Comment by Joseph — April 14, 2014 @ 9:09 am

  5. The size of the sign is very telling. The City aspires to develop the crap out of that area. So glad I live in an established neighborhood. Alameda Point is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get. The way they’re going though, I’m thinking it’s going to be more Pleasanton than Sausalito.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — April 14, 2014 @ 9:17 am

  6. I love the campsite idea, as there already is an historical campsite. Although I would not like it to be an RV campsite, rather one for tents only. RV campsites turn an outdoor experience into a parking lot experience complete with the annoying chug and exhaust from gasoline generators.

    Comment by Aaron Thies — April 14, 2014 @ 9:56 am

  7. I walk the trail that borders the old camp ground almost every day, Hate to say it , but it would not be a very good idea in that location. it would need constant supervision (24hrs.) always cans bottles and litter from night visitors now. also all the infrastructure is destroyed.

    Comment by John P. — April 14, 2014 @ 10:04 am

  8. entrance sign in picture to tall and long, looks about 10 to 12 ft. tall, needs to be lowered.

    Comment by John P. — April 14, 2014 @ 10:06 am

  9. I don’t like the entrance sign — I know it’s only temporary, but we can do much better — it’s the main entrance to an exciting waterfront development!

    Comment by Karen Bey — April 14, 2014 @ 10:22 am

  10. What happened to the plans for the bronze statue of Jim Morrison? These signs are big cheap-looking, ugly eyesores, totally at variance with any historical character to be preserved. how much did we pay this consultant [Square Peg]? Square Peg in a round hole, indeed.

    Comment by vigi — April 14, 2014 @ 10:24 am

  11. Oh, snap…John P. you & I were on the Planning Board that came up with the 1998 Sign Program:

    “3. All signs shall respect the architectural character of Alameda Point, being Streamline Moderne or Art Deco style generally, characterized by sans serif lettering and stylized forms where possible. The guide produced by the Navy for design review, “Layman’s Guide to Buildings Preserving the Character of the Naval Air Station Alameda Historic District”, shall be used in reviewing each proposal. It is available for review at the City Planning Department.

    4. Signs shall be compatible with’ the building to which they are attached…”

    Looks like our Resolution was a waste of time. There is no evidence that this new sign designer paid any attention to the 1998 document. So much for honoring public input.

    Comment by c. gottstein — April 14, 2014 @ 10:51 am

  12. I won’t comment on the size of the sign, but will say that perhaps the designer was trying to honor the heritage by emulating navy signal flags with the flags shown. Of course, it could also just be a default position for a designer that has no other imagination, as Lauren has suggested. And the smaller sign, with the ‘mini cooper’ logo, actually is pretty accurate to a portion of the Navy wings worn by any airdale in the Nav. So, perhaps the designer was/is conscious of the area’s navy heritage, and is trying to preserve that heritage with the signage.

    Comment by Not.A.Alamedan — April 14, 2014 @ 11:20 am

  13. I’m with you Carol, planning board. members, and staff when you read these posts, please take them into consideration. What is pictured above does not go well with the existing base.

    Comment by John P. — April 14, 2014 @ 11:24 am

  14. John P. Good point regarding the location. There’s no reason it would have to be at that location specifically, especially if the infrastructure is not salvageable. But I do think an environmental tent site on the Point somewhere would be amazing. Regarding the issues with supervision and night visitors, hopefully the problems would be much improved with the Point development, new camping facilities and lots of public use.

    Comment by Aaron Thies — April 14, 2014 @ 12:38 pm

  15. Aaron, that area could easily be used as a day time picnic area just like the one at Crown Cove. It would be perfect if EBPD took it over and set it up properly.

    Comment by John P. — April 14, 2014 @ 3:49 pm

  16. Just got back from my walk, if you look at the first picture above, then go down to the bottom of the letter “L” in Alameda you will see a small blue area, that is the original ” Naval Air Station Alameda” signage. It is concrete with landscaping around it. Would be nice not to bury that.

    Comment by John P. — April 15, 2014 @ 12:08 pm

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