1995 CPEO Military List Archive

From: National Employment Lawyers Association <nelahq@igc.org>
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 1994 14:09:09 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: Treasure Island Museum
My name is Anne Schnoebelen. I am President of the Board of Directors of 
the Treasure Island Museum and a long-time volunteer and activist on 
behalf of the museum and the heritage of Treasure Island. I am a writer 
and historian, having published extensively about the history of Treasure 
Island and the artistic, architectural and cultural significance of the 
Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island, 1939-1940.

I have lots of academic credentials, as everyone on this conference seems 
to, but they are unrelated either to my professional work or my 
involvement with Treasure Island!

I wish to participate in this conference because our museum on Treasure Island
is threatened by the closure of Naval Station Treasure Island. Base closure
poses many threats to the environment, to the economy, to workers, working
space and living space. One threat that is rarely discussed is the loss of
cultural resources--that's us!

Many thanks to Lenny and to Aimee for welcoming me to this conference, and
for their interest and suggestions.

We are an "official" Navy museum and from the time of our founding in 1975
until October 1, 1994, we received almost 100% of our funding from the
Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Approximately 60% of our collecting
and exhibit areas are devoted to the history of the Sea Services in the Pacific
from 1860 to the present. But we also have a strong civilian component: the
history of Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island, the Bay Bridge, the China
Clipper flying boats, and the Golden Gate International Exposition (the latter
being our most popular exhibit, collecting and research areas). We also have
an extensive library and archives based upon our collecting areas, which see a
great deal of public, academic and government use. 

In approximately June of 1993, we learned that the base was slated for
closure. The closure date is now firmly placed at September, 1997. The
museum's staff, board and volunteers have been working energetically since
1993 to ensure that our museum will remain open after base closure, and to
ensure that we will remain in our historic location (which was created in 1939
to house a terminal for the airport that Treasure Island was supposed to
become--but never did). 

The Treasure Island Museum is the only Naval museum "hit" by the current
round of base closures, and I am told by Dr. Dean Allard, Director of Naval
History, that we are the only Naval museum to attempt to remain open through
and beyond closure of a base. 

Additional information:

*Funding.* The Navy will permit us to remain in our building through the
time of base closure, free of charge. The Navy pays our "rent" and utilities. 
DOD funding through the Legacy Foundation for an ongoing catalog/ 
registration project is pending. BRAC monies for the same project are
probable. Between June-October 1994, we raised enough money through
private donations to remain in operation through approximately March of
1995. We derive some income from a gift shop and door donations. We
intend to launch a major fund-raising campaign in early 1995 in order to
remain operational through 1995 and beyond.

The Navy WILL NOT ALLOW us to charge admission at the door, based upon a 
Navy regulation which, we are told, cannot be excepted for our case. We 
are seeking political assistance in our efforts to achieve a waiver of
this regulation. At our current attendance levels (60,000+ annually) a modest
door donation would keep us in operation.

The museum has a "friends" organization, the Treasure Island Museum
Association. Through fundraising and publicity over the past six months we
have tripled our membership. 

*Publicity.* Our greatest assets, our location and our beautiful 
building, are also our worst enemies. Treasure Island is "invisible" to 
most people--merely an exit on the Bay Bridge. We are launching an 
advertising campaign in early 1995, and have managed to put a State 
Historic Landmark Sign on the Bay Bridge. In spite of a continued 
letter-writing and telephoning campaign, CalTrans will not allow us to 
put up sign on the bridge (not even one of those modest blue signs that 
read "MUSEUM"). Senator Quentin Kopp is assisting us in this project.

We received a great deal of media attention in Summer of 1994, including an
editorial in the San Francisco Examiner, major articles in the Chronicle and
Examiner, and articles in most of the smaller papers around the Bay Area. 
We also received television and radio coverage. This publicity boosted our
attendance markedly--it was up 33 1/3 percent. We hope that our advertising
campaign, which will be placed on public transportation vehicles all around the
Bay Area, will keep up this trend.

*Community Relations.* We have initiated new, close relations with the City
of San Francisco, as the City is the most likely new tenant of Treasure Island
when the base closes. One of our board members, Claire Isaacs (formerly
Executive Director of the San Francisco Art Commission), has been appointed
to the Mayor's Citizens Advisory Committee on Base Reuse and Closure for
Treasure Island. The City intends to install a small exhibit in our museum
illustrating the base closure process. We are in regular contact with many city
hall employees and officials in an effort to gain information about future
intentions for Treasure Island and to ensure that we are not forgotten. The
Board of Supervisors issued a Resolution in July of this year stating their
support of the museum. 

We recently made a trip to Washington, D.C. where we "paid calls" upon the
Secretary of the Navy, the administrator of the Legacy Foundation, U.S.
Senator Dianne Feinstein and other officials in the Pentagon and on Capitol
Hill. The follow-up to this was a visit to Treasure Island and our museum by
the Secretary of the Navy. We have assurance from all concerned--the City of
San Francisco, the Navy, Senators and Congresspeople--that everyone wants to
see us remain open. However, we are still responsible for raising money. 
And no one can assure us that we will be allowed to remain in our building
after 1997.

There is much more to this story. I will appreciate any and all comments and
suggestions. Please send me email or call me at 415/227-4655 (w), 415/326-
7008 (h). And come see our museum!

We are free, open 10:30 every day but Christmas, New Year's, and
Thanksgiving. We do have a gift shop and a newsletter. 

Take the Bay Bridge to the Treasure Island Exit, and follow the road around
Yerba Buena Island (that's the island that the bridge goes through) to Treasure
Island. We are in the first building on the island, just inside the unguarded
guard gate.

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