Author Archives: barjona07




Short Term Management Plan (5­-years)

Within the next five years there will be a push to get the community involved. Reaching out to the school system will help get younger generations involved in learning about the significance of the bulb. The goal is to capture the interest of children without taking them to the bulb while it is still unsafe due to trash and hazardous materials, and to have them learn about their community’s unspoken history.

It is also necessary to start the planning and funding for the construction of a new community building on the site. The building will be used by park rangers, members involved with the bulb field trips, and also will be used as a visitor site. The theme of recycling will be incorporated into the new building to emphasize what makes the Albany Bulb so unique. The building will also have a natural water tower, solar panels, and an outdoor sculpture garden on the roof to display whatever art is salvaged from the bulb.


Sketch of Community Building onsite at the Albany Bulb created by Designer Bernardo Arjona


Long term management plan (25-­years)

The following section explores climate projections and suggests based on the evidence how the site could possibly change in the next century. A 2012 report from the California Energy Commission’s California Climate Change Center (CECCCCC), reveals that both temperature and climate changes due to greenhouse gasses and global warming will affect a majority of the bay area’s coastal sites. The two that directly affect the future of the Bulb are temperature increases and rising sea levels.

All of the statistics reveal that within the next 25 the Bulb will begin to deteriorate from these environmental conditions, raising the question of what can be done now and in the future to preserve this landscape? A proposed solution to these climate changes can be found in the ANBTIP plan which includes the creation of revetment walls. This is an extremely large cost but one that the city is willing to undertake.

Implementation of Heritage in the Future

In addition to continuing to use the site as an educational tool about social issues there will still be the possibility of using the space as a place for art to be present and practiced. The city of Albany in their proposals has already suggested a willingness to discuss the topic of a performative space. The best example of this would be to look at the Weplayers Theatre Company. In 2006, they presented their rendition of the Tempest at the Albany Bulb. For more photos of the We Players rendition of The Tempest at the bulb, please visit:

Preserving the site means preserving the memory of what the Bulb once was and what it will continue to be in the future. In the next twenty-five years, we would suggest that the city sets aside the funds for an anthropological study and publication of the Bulb. This would encompass the history of the homeless and the transition into a vacant park used by dog owners and community members, eventually ending with the current state of the bulb.



Children playing at the Bulb by Brenda Arjona

Significance of the Albany Bulb

A dump is a place where waste resides and where unwanted things go die. It is virtually forgotten by the people who deposit materials and is only remembered when an individual must again go to the dump to dispose of additional objects. The question to ask in the context of the Albany Bulb project is when does a dump lose stigma and gain the status of a site representing sociocultural value (Mason)? In the case of the Albany Bulb, this shift began to take place when formerly homeless people began to take up residence there.

 This documentary was directed by Tomas McCabe and Andrei Rozen


Some might wonder how it is that a landfill dump can have value. Therein lies the uniqueness of the Albany Bulb, and why it holds so much value to the people of the community and the former residents. First and foremost, the bulb is valuable because of its history. Many people place value on a site or area simply because it has been around for a long time (Mason 11). Since the creation of the neck of the bulb began in the 1940’s with the construction of Golden Gate Fields, it qualifies as a historical place (more than 50 years old), which makes it of value.
Historical value is just one of the sociocultural values attached to the Albany Bulb.

Social value is one of the most important aspects concerning the bulb and the future preservation of tangible and intangible heritage surrounding this place. Randall Mason defines social value as “place attachment…social cohesion, community identity, or other feelings of affiliation that social groups (whether very small and local, or national in scale) derive from the specific heritage and environment characteristics of their ‘home’ territory.” To the former residents of the bulb, place attachment is everything. They literally built their homes on this land and lived there for decades. One can still see brick flooring, sectioned off gardens, and artifacts that remain in the places where the former bulb residents built their homes. The emotional and physical attachment that the residents felt is what makes the bulb so valuable to them and to the community members who support their right to the land.


The Albany Bulb is free to visit and needs little development to fulfill its value as a heritage place. However, the site needs to be made accessible to the people who originally used the area, as well as the park visitors and dog­walking community. In order to achieve this, the management policies need to be changed. The primary problem with the management of the site is that is was not managed at all for many years. The biggest issue would be to have a consistent management plan and implementation from the state. That being said, the state and city need to work together with the former residents, community, and other stakeholders in order to create management policies that not only reflect the values of the various stakeholders, but also respect their right to the bulb as a heritage place.

ThruTime App Interpretive Plan

by Brenda Arjona

Project Thrutime is an application to be used on smartphones, both iOS and android will support this app, that is meant to digitally transport you through time. Like other similar apps (DeTour, Layar, Rephoto), Thrutime is meant to be used while you are at a particular site, and its aim is to

no bckrnd tt

ThruTime App


enhance your experience at that place by immersing you in the environment without the restrictions of time. You can digitally travel into the past through the various features that Thrutime has to offer.

Project Thrutime allows one to explore and experience the heritage and culture of a past place, in this case the Albany Bulb, by incorporating photography, audio, and virtual architecture. For example, you can use this app to do an audio tour, which has a more structured and guided feel to it. Another option is to just explore the various structures that existed at the bulb through photographs and sound. For frequent bulb-goers, there will also be an option that allows you to overlay your older photographs with the current scenery to see how things have changed. All of these features will incorporate GPS data and will track your location as you explore the bulb.

Virtual Reality TT

Example of older photo over current landscape

This project will draw in audiences of many ages and walks of life. The app can be experienced by former residents, community members, tourists, and even those who have sought to destroy the bulb can learn something from the app. Various stakeholders are included in these groups of people, but the goal is to not exclude people from having this experience. Our aim is that Thrutime is easy enough to use for those that may not be technologically savvy.

Thrutime will allow the intangible and tangible heritage to be accessible through one app and also to be salvaged and stored digitally for future generations to experience. Although time, along with the state’s developments and the city’s enforcements, will eventually transform the Albany Bulb into just another bay area park, sustainability will be achieved through the technological advancements and heritage preservation. We also plan to create a feature that allows anyone to contribute photography, audio, and video files from their experiences at the bulb, which will create a sustainable and evolving cache of heritage.

Lastly, there will be a feature in Thrutime that will allow app users to track their experience at the Albany Bulb and then save and upload a custom made “story-map” to Facebook.

story map

Interactive Story-map

The story-map will incorporate photos and 20 second videos (like Snap-Chat) at specific checkpoints or landmarks, which the app user creates. This map will be interactive, so others will be able to click on checkpoints created by the user and view the photos/video associated with the checkpoints. The goal is to create an experience that can not only be easily shared on social media, but can be fun to talk about and might encourage more people to create their own unique story at the Albany Bulb, and hopefully keep the bulb alive for future generations.