NPS Rosie Visitor Center
The Rosie the Riveter Visitor Education Center in Richmond, CA, is a public-private partnership between the National Park Service and Orton Development Inc. The center is a long overdue facility which pays homage to “Rosie,” America’s cultural icon from World War II. Rosie the Riveter is the symbol of women in the 1940’s who took on critically important jobs in trades that had been previously limited to men. Rosie’s significance is her sweeping and lasting impact on society’s attitudes towards women in the workplace.
The 12,000 square foot visitor center and museum occupies a converted industrial “oil house,” the last element in the rehabilitation of the Ford Assembly Building. This historic landmark was built in 1931 to assemble Ford automobiles and later traded the assembly of cars for tanks, jeeps and other war supplies. Thus, the Ford Building played an important historic role along with other nearby Richmond sites such as the four Kaiser Richmond Shipyards where thousands of Rosies welded (not riveted) ships, the Maritime Child Center, and Kaiser Richmond Field Hospital.