Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

Brickyard Landing Condominiums
Point Richmond, California

kiln1.gif (29786 bytes)The condominium occupies a site that once supported brick factories.  Two of the kilns have been preserved as reminders of that time (24K jpg, ground level Olympus D-300L digital camera, December 1997).

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During the winter months, Pt. Richmond becomes part of my regular Sunday routine since it is the site of the boy's junior sailing program.  This neighborhood is clustered and the east shore of the San Francisco Bay as it narrows in its transition to San Pablo Bay.  Pt. Richmond, with its isolated hills overlooking the bay, was an island at the turn of the century.  It has had an interesting and varied history since that time, a story nicely outline by Donna Roselius in A Brief History of Point Richmond

One of the KAP-worthy locations at Pt. Richmond is the former site of the Richmond Pressed Brick Company.  This operation, an active concern until the late 1960s, belonged to a vanishing period of industrial activity at the site. The company made high quality "face" bricks using local clay and fired these in kilns made of brick.  Two kilns and a smokestack were preserved when the Brickyard Landing Condominiums were built on the brickyard site.

brickyd15.GIF (38885 bytes)brickyd06.GIF (43934 bytes)Aerial views of the kilns.  On the left is a high view of the brick chimney stack, kilns, and a new concrete swimming pool.  By coincidence, and without me knowing it, one of my friends was one of the two people visible swimming laps in the pool.  He was unaware of the kite. (32K jpg left and 49K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, December 1997).

During my Sunday trips to Pt. Richmond I had been keeping an eye on the kilns as an interesting photographic subject.  One difficulty was the positioning of the condominium complex.  Its siting against a steep, south-facing hillside made it difficult to find wind conditions favorable for the kite. So I would check now and then knowing the winds would eventually be favorable.  And eventually favorable they were. The images in this set were taken on two different days spaced a couple of months apart.  In both cases the winds were marginal and the kite only flew about 40 minutes before the winds lapsed altogether.  By the way, I notice that three years of kite flying have improved my abilities to gauge the suitability of wind conditions and my ability to get a kite aloft when they are marginal. 

brickyd16.GIF (38406 bytes)brickyd04.GIF (37522 bytes)More views of the kilns under different weather conditions, cloudy on the left and sunny on the right.  I was surprised to see that the stack walls were only one brick thick at the top. (32K jpg, Canon 24-mm left and 36K jpg, Canon 15-mm right, December 1997).

The kilns are handsome brick domed structures made of relatively rough brick (rejects?) The kiln with the white ring on top is remarkably misshapen while the other looks to be in pretty good shape.  I have seen a black and white aerial photograph of the area from the 1950s (I think) and there are several smokestacks of this sort with each supporting a pair of kilns.  Only this one remains.

brickyd01.GIF (37784 bytes)brickyd02.GIF (37825 bytes)

A view past the kiln stack toward the Brickyard Landing buildings and toward the condominium's pool.  (41K jpg left and 38K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, December 1997).

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