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Richmond

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Maritime Child Development Center, 1014 Florida Avenue, Richmond, Contra Costa County, CA



B&W Photos

HB199459
BWPhotos 201594

HB199460
BWPhotos 201595

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Data Pages


Photo Caption Pages


Item Title


Location
1014 Florida Avenue, Richmond, CA

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Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1933.

Notes
Survey number HABS CA-2718
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (N592).
Building/structure dates: 1943 initial construction
Significance: The Maritime Child Development Center was one of approximately thirty-five nursery school units of varying sizes established in the Richmond area during World War II in order to provide child care for women working in the Kaiser shipyards. This center was funded and constructed by the United States Maritime Commission as part of a larger development that also included housing, an elementary school, and a fire station. The housing was demolished after the war but the other structures remain. The Maritime Child Development Center is a wood frame structure executed in a spare, modernist style. Operated by the Richmond School District, the Maritime Child Development Center incorporated progressive educational programming, and was staffed with nutritionists, psychiatrists, and certified teachers. It had a capacity of 180 children per day. At its peak, with 24,500 women on the Kaiser payroll, Richmond's citywide child car program maintained a total daily attendance of 1400 children. Unlike the federally-funded WPA day care facilities implemented during the New Deal, the World War II centers were not intended for use by the destitute, but for working mothers. The Kaiser-sponsored Child Care Centers, particularly those at Kaiser's industrial sites in Vanport, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, gained a reputation for innovative and high quality child care. That the Maritime and Pullman (since renamed the Ruth C. Powers) Child Development Centers in Richmond, both constructed during World War II, continue to function as child care facilities nearly six decades later, is a testament not only to their effective design, but to the continuing demand for assistance for mothers who work.

Related Names
Barber, Alicia, Historian
Lowe, Jet, Photographer


Collection
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

Contents


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