Structure Type: built works - research structures - laboratories

Designers: McCue Boone Tomsick (MBT) Associates, Architects (firm); David Charles Boone (architect); Gerald Mallon McCue (architect); Frank Tomsick (architect)

Dates: [unspecified]

1391 South 49th Street
Richmond, CA 94804

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The approximate location of the 86-acre Stauffer Chemical Company site was 1391 South 49th Street at Meade Street.


The Stauffer Chemical Company had owned this 86-acre property consisting of three lots since about 1897, when it manufactured sulfuric acid at the plant. This research center was one of at least three designed for large chemical companies by the architect Gerald McCue for sites in Richmond and Walnut Creek. The area was closed by its later owner, Zeneca, in 1997, leaving behind a significant toxic waste area to remediate. Most of the buildings on the site were demolished by Zeneca in 2001.

Building History

A California State website described this industrial site's history and toxicity: "The Zeneca/Former Stauffer Chemical Company Site (Zeneca Site also referred to as the Campus Bay Site). The Zeneca Site was first developed in 1897 when Stauffer Chemical Company (Stauffer) built a plant to manufacture sulfuric acid. Later, Stauffer also manufactured at various times Superphosphate, carbon disulfide, aluminum sulfate, ferric sulfate, titanium trichloride, and agricultural products. These manufacturing activities occurred predominantly on Lots 2 and 3 of the Zeneca Site and these manufacturing operations ceased in 1997. Prior to the 1950's Lot 1 appears to have been used as a farm, a school and for residential buildings. Stauffer Chemical began development of Lot 1 in the late 1950's with the construction of a pilot metals research facility. Electron beam furnaces were used to melt various metals. For a two-week period, uranium ingots may have been melted in a furnace located in former Building 80, and was previously reported that it may have been melted in a furnace located in former Building 94. More recent information indicates that the uranium ingot was melted in the former Building 80. Both buildings have been demolished and Building 94 was located to the north of the Lot 1 PCB/VOC area. The former Building 80 was located to the south on Lot 3. In the 1960's development of Lot 1 as an agricultural chemical research and development campus began. Agricultural chemical research and development continued until 2001 and included the use of solvents, pesticides, metals and some radioactive substances. Other historical activities that occurred in the general vicinity of the PCB/VOC Area included a hazardous materials storage area, and an electrical transformer. Residual cinder material from the sulfuric acid manufacturing has been detected at Lot 1. Lot 1 currently consists of office buildings, greenhouses, fences, parking areas, sidewalks, and vacant land." (See State of, California Environmental Quality Act, "SCH Number 2007102137," accessed 11/16/2021.)

PCAD id: 24249