Image of Visitor Education Center Exhibit
Start Your Visit Here!

Learn more about the history behind the WWII Home Front by arriving first to the Visitor Education Center in Richmond, CA.

Cropped photo of part of the Ford Assembly building. Windows and a tall stack.
Park Sites Beyond the Visitor Center

The Richmond Home Front provides a number of historic places to drive by, view or visit. Click the image for points of interest.

History and Culture
History and Culture

Looking to learn more about the WWII Home Front? Start by clicking here.


Explore Historic WWII Sites and Places of Interest in Richmond

Exploring Richmond is a wonderful way of seeing many of the historic sites that were a part of the WWII Home Front. Most of these sites are part of a self-guided tour. It is important to know that not all buildings and locations are fully accessible to the public. Many can only be viewed from the outside due to their historic condition, locations or private ownership. Some sites require reservations. Please always be safety-minded and respectful of property when exporing this historic city. These locations are significant to the history of the city and WWII home front history. If you have a question about a specific site, you can contact the Visitor Education Center at 510-232-5050 ext. 0.

Where can I go?

We always recommend that your first stop be at the Visitor Education Center to experience exhibits and park films. However, there are over 20 historic sites and places of interest around Richmond, that are part of the WWII Home Front Story. You can see a comprehensive list of those sites by visiting our "Places to Go" page or clicking on the banner, below.



Why Richmond California?

Richmond, California was chosen as the site for this National Historical Park because it has so many surviving sites and structures from the World War II years that can help tell the diverse stories of the home front. These stories include the mobilization of America’s industry and the changes in production techniques; the struggle for women’s and minority rights; the labor movement; the growth of pre-paid medical care; advances in early childhood education and day care; recycling and rationing; major shifts in population; and changes in arts and culture.

Richmond played a significant and nationally recognized part in the World War II home front. The four Richmond shipyards produced 747 ships, more than any other shipyard complex in the country. Richmond was also home to over 56 different war industries, more than any other city of its size in the United States. The city grew from less than 24,000 people in 1940 to nearly 100,000 people by 1943, overwhelming the available housing, roads, schools, businesses and community services. At the same time, Executive Order 9066 forcibly removed Japanese and Japanese-American residents from the area, disrupting Richmond’s thriving cut-flower industry. The war truly touched every aspect of civilian life on the home front. Through historic structures, museum collections, interpretive exhibits, and programs, the park tells the diverse and fascinating story of the WWII home front.


The legislation establishing the park recognizes the national significance of the historic sites and structures within the City of Richmond. The importance of these resources is discussed in this section. While these historic resources are owned by different public and private entities, and not by the park, they all help tell the story of Rosie the Riveter and America's WWII home front.

Front of visitor center. Brick building with entrance door and park sign.
Visitor Education Center for Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park.

NPS photo, Luther Bailey.

Historic Oil House - Home of the Visitor Education Center

The remodeled Oil House sits on the edge of San Francisco Bay, adjacent to the Craneway. Its fuel once powered assembly lines for Ford automobiles, and later WWII assembly of jeeps and tanks. As part of the development of Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park, the Oil House was renovated to become the home for the park’s visitor education center in 2012.

The Visitor Education Center (Oil House) for the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park is your first stop if you're just now learning abour our park and plan to explore WWII history in Richmond, CA. The Visitor Center is located at 1414 Harbour Way South, Suite 3000 in Richmond, California, at the Ford Assembly Plant complex.


Last updated: October 26, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1414 Harbour Way South, Suite 3000
Richmond, CA 94804


510 232-5050

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