San Francisco (detention facility)
|US Gov Name||San Francisco Detention Station|
|Facility Type||Immigration Detention Station|
|Administrative Agency||Immigration and Naturalization Service|
|Location||San Francisco, California (37.7667 lat, -122.4167 lng)|
|Population Description||Held Japanese immigrants arrested by the FBI in Northern California.|
|General Description||Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) detention station located on Silver Avenue in San Francisco, California.|
|National Park Service Info|
Short-term detention site at 801 Silver Avenue, San Francisco, for Japanese, Italian and German enemy aliens rounded up in Northern California in the weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
After a fire on August 12, 1940, destroyed the administration building of the infamous immigration station on Angel Island, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) decided to close down the Angel Island complex and move to a facility on 801 Silver Avenue in San Francisco on November 5, moving around 200 aliens—most from China—in the process. The Silver Avenue facility had once been a training center for the Salvation Army. The detention quarters for the immigration station later moved to Sharp Park in 1942, then to the more permanent facility on Sansome Street in 1944, where it remains to the present. 
The Silver Avenue immigration station became one of seven INS immigration stations established to detain enemy aliens in the days after the attack on Pearl Harbor. (The others were Gloucester City (New Jersey), Detroit, East Boston , Ellis Island , Seattle , and San Pedro .) In that capacity, it held Issei from Northern California arrested starting on December 7. According to newspaper accounts, 169 enemy aliens—92 Japanese, 59 German, and 18 Italian—were in custody at Silver Avenue by December 10. By January 12, a group of forty from the Monterey–Santa Cruz County area had been detained and added to the group at Silver Avenue. A final group resulted from a large enemy alien roundup on the weekend of February 21, 1942, that saw 258 from Northern California detained, 179 Japanese, 68 Italians, and 11 Germans. It is not clear if all these detainees were held at Silver Avenue, though at least the eighty-one from San Francisco seemed to have been. 
Internees at the Silver Avenue facility were housed in a large gymnasium that had been converted into living quarters, with triple decked beds lined up in rows. "The air was thick with tobacco smoke and a dozen other fumes and odors," wrote Milton Silverman, a San Francisco Chronicle reporter documenting the internment for the Western Defense Command . The Germans and Italians were in the outer rows, with the Japanese in the middle rows. Dwight Takashi Uchida, a Berkeley businessman, was detained on December 7 and recognized many other Issei community leaders among those at Silver Avenue. As with most of the men, he had no change of clothing or toiletries. After being kept incommunicado for five days, he and about thirty of the men were put a train and sent to the Fort Lincoln , North Dakota, detention facility. San Francisco Konko-kyo Rev. Yoshiaki Fukuda was arrested in San Jose and held in the county jail there for three days before being taken to Silver Avenue. A week later, he and his group of internees left for the Missoula, Montana , internment camp. With capacity strained with the February arrests, the 191 internees moved from Silver Avenue to the Sharp Park Internment Camp on March 30. Fifty more transferred the following day, presumably ending the brief internment history of the Silver Avenue site. 
The 801 Silver Avenue site is today the home of the Cornerstone Evangelical Baptist Church and the preschool and elementary grades of the Cornerstone Academy. 
- H. M. Lai, "Island of Immortals: Chinese Immigrants and the Angel Island Immigration Station," California History 57.1 (Spring 1978), 93; Milton Silverman, "Internment Centers: Sharp Park," 5, Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records, Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley, BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder B9.01, https://oac.cdlib.org/ark:/28722/bk0013c8w5p/?brand=oac4 .
- Tetsuden Kashima, Judgment Without Trial: Japanese American Imprisonment during World War II (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2002), 107; San Francisco Call-Bulletin , Dec. 10, 1941 and San Francisco Chronicle , Dec. 11, 1941, The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement: A Digital Archive, BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder W 2.50:2, https://oac.cdlib.org/ark:/28722/bk001394s9h/?brand=oac4 ; Oakland Tribune , Jan. 12, 1942 and 'San Francisco Call-Bulletin , Jan. 12, 1942, The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement: A Digital Archive, BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder W 2.51:01, [ https://oac.cdlib.org/ark:/28722/bk001395g31/?brand=oac4 ; San Francisco Examiner , Feb. 22 and 23, 1942, The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement: A Digital Archive, BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder W 2.51:6 https://oac.cdlib.org/ark:/28722/bk001399j0b/?brand=oac4 .
- Silverman, "Internment Centers: Sharp Park," 5, 9–10; Doris Hayashi, "Religion [in Tanforan]," 10–12, The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement: A Digital Archive, Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley, BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder B8.15, https://oac.cdlib.org/ark:/28722/bk0013c5g97/?brand=oac4 ; John Christgau, "Enemies": World War II Alien Internment (Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1985; Lincoln, Nebraska: Authors Choice Press, 2001), 58–59; Rev Yoshiaki Fukuda, My Six Years of Internment: An Issei's Struggle for Justice , commentary by Stanford M. Lyman (San Francisco: Konko Church of San Francisco, 1990), 6–7, 48; Nichibei Shimbun , Apr. 2, 1942, The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement: A Digital Archive, Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley, BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder T5.099, https://oac.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/k69w0pmh/?brand=oac4 .
- Cornerstone Evangelical Baptist Church and Cornerstone Academy websites, accessed on June 1, 2020 at https://www.cebc.net/4-corners and https://www.cornerstone-academy.net/ .
Last updated July 6, 2021, 9:32 p.m..