The history of the Union Iron Works Powerhouse is inseparable from the shipyard it was once part of. Established in the early 1900s by the United Engineering Company, the yard was purchased by Union Iron Works (later called Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation) in 1916 and came to be known as the Alameda Works. The building is one of many designed for the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG & E) in northern California between 1905 and the 1920s. The site was expanded from seven to 75 acres with facilities for constructing up to six major vessels simultaneously, making it one of the largest and best equipped yards in the country. After 1923, the Alameda Works ceased making ships but continued its dry docking and ship repairing operations.
Events - Historical
At the beginning of World War II, the Alameda Works was re-established as the Bethlehem Alameda Shipyard, and modernized and expanded to include new shipways and on-site worker housing. During the war, the yard repaired more than 1,000 vessels and produced P-2 troop transport ships, and it continued to produce structural steel. Shipbuilding came to an end in the early 1950s and the yard was closed in 1956.