tiexp: the island: history
A century ago, the island was nothing more than shallow salt water next to an outcropping of rock. Now it's a real neighborhood with a cool view, a tourist bus mecca spot, and mysteriously toxic soil.

Here's how it all got started.

building the island February 1936
To celebrate the construction of the new bay and golden gate bridges, san francisco scoops up lots of mud from the sacramento river and dumps it in the shallow shoals next to yerba buena island. The new island is romantically called 'treasure island' because of the possibility that there's gold in the landfill mud.
the fair

1939 - 1940
A happy world exposition highlighting california, san francisco and pacific unity takes place on the island for two years as the nazis attack their neighbors in europe. The year after the fair is over, the island is supposed to be converted into a new city airport for san francisco.

pan am airplane 1939 - 1941
Pan Am operates 'china clipper' air service to the far east. Planes landed in the water between treasure island and yerba buena island, which is now called clipper cove. Two huge airplane hangers still exist from the inital airport plans. They are now used to film disney movies and nash bridges.
navy ship

February 1941
The us navy leases the island from the city and trades land near san mateo for the new airport. The city builds san francisco international airport there, while the navy builds treasure island into a naval base.

the island September 1993
American military cutbacks result in the navy withdrawing from treasure island. After fifty years of marching, parading and toxic waste dumping, the navy and the city work out a deal to clean up the mess and convert the island for reuse.
west bridge

March 1998
To finance plans to convert island into entertainment uses, the city contracts with a management company to begin leasing out the abandoned island military housing to city residents, with special consideration for students, city employees, low income and homeless people.

nagoya castle November 2000
Tony, who has lived on the island for about six months, is searching for new roommates. Tat, a friend from japan, calls looking for a place to stay. Tat moves in as the former tenants move out.
fort chronkite January 2001
Nick responds to a craigslist.org advertisement for treasure island housing. Soon after, on an ocean hike, the idea sparks and cameras start rolling on the treasure island experiment.
2001 the treasure island experiment. All rights reserved.