Community Forum: the Benicia Arsenal, A Cautionary Tale

Protect Historic Benicia!

WHO:  1000 Friends Protecting Historic Benicia – non-profit 501(c)(3)

 WHAT:   Community Forum – Benicia Arsenal – Panel presentation and tours illustrating superior alternatives to the approved streamline approved SB 35  housing projects for 19 buildings, 138 condominium units that will erase the landscape and hide the existing historic 19th-century structures.  Intact for over 150 years, the historic district overlooking the Carquinez Straits will become  just a footnote in Benicia’s history.

When:  March 12, 2PM

Where:  Clocktower – 1189 Washington Street, Historic Arsenal, Benicia


Benicia Arsenal: A Cautionary Tale – Sunday, March 12, at 2:00 pm Clocktower Fortress, 1189 Washington Street, Benicia Arsenal.  Free event, ample parking

Panel Presentation, 2:00 to 3:00 pm:

  • Gary Widman – former: 1st Lt., Benicia Arsenal, 1958-59; Prof of Environ. Law, UC Hastings;  General Counsel, Council on Environmental Quality, Executive Office of the President; Gen. Counsel, Calif Dept. of Parks and Recreation & Office of Historic Preservation;  Director, Office of Staff Attorneys, US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
  • Gregory Tilles – Professor Emeritus of History, Diablo Valley College
  • Steven Goetz – Benicia Arsenal Park Task Force
  • Blake Roberts, Moderator – D., Program Manager of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta National Heritage Area

The panel will highlight the 162-year life of the Arsenal that shaped Benicia.  Our Civil War-era military installation is a unique geographic and architectural gem of the Western United States, and a state and national-registered historic district. Panelists will review current environmental challenges and threats, including approved high-density development plans for the heart of the historic district.  Developing and preserving does not have to be in conflict. Better alternatives will be presented.

Tours – Docent-led

  • Historic Jefferson Street walks – 3:15 and 4:00 pm
  • Home tours: two non-commissioned officer homes – 3:15 to 4:30 pm

After the panel, docent-led tours of the Clocktower Fortress, the adjacent Officers’ Row, and historic homes on Jefferson Street will give you a window into Benicia’s history and life at a U.S. Army base more than 150 years ago. Gathering for recreation and spectacular views of the Carquinez Strait from Jefferson Ridge was part of the Army’s original design.  We are called to this campaign to preserve and enhance the Benicia Arsenal.

Related attractions at the Arsenal:

  • Benicia Historical Museum is open 1:00 to 4:00 pm ($3 for adults, $2 for children, free for active military with identification)
    Arts Benicia – Exhibits at the Commanding Officer’s Quarters are open until 5:00 pm
  • Join the campaign to find a way to “Develop – Not Destroy” the Benicia

Stay Informed and Donate (501)©(3):

See earlier on BenIndy: