California

The old A-1 Tow Yard near Barstow was the location of the Tired Iron Museum, a display of homemade terminator vehicles built by Ed and Greg Parker. The Parker family owned and operated an auto repair and towing shop here, and created these functional desert...

The remote Carrizo Plain's status as one of the sunniest places in the state was exploited by the solar power industry from 1983 to 1994. This was by far the largest photovoltaic array in the world, with 100,000 1' x 4' photovoltaic arrays producing 5.2...

This is a densely developed 41-acre compound near the Los Angeles International Airport, containing 23 office and industrial buildings belonging to the Aerospace Corporation, a nonprofit corporation that provides technical support for military satellite...

The AES power plant is the only major power plant in Orange County, which otherwise gets its power from outside the county. It is located in a coastal industrial area in Huntington Beach, adjacent to the Ascon/NESI Superfund site, a gas and oil tank farm, and...

Once a popular recreational pilot fly-in airport, Agua Dulce Airpark, north of Los Angeles, is hardly used at all as an airport anymore, but has been used as an airport location for several film productions. The small terminal building has been renamed by art...

A major Air Force aircraft development and construction facility, with over eight million square feet of covered space. Contractors with substantial structures at the site include Northrop-Grumman, Rockwell/McDonnell Douglas/Boeing, NASA, and Lockheed-Martin'...

One of the largest rocket test sites in the country. The Air Force Research Lab's Propulsion Directorate has its primary field lab at the remote northeast corner of Edwards AFB, on and around Leuhman Ridge, with additional test facilities on Haystack Butte,...

The U.S. Navy began building the 1,734-acre base on Alameda Island in the late 1930s, and for more than fifty years it was a repair and maintenance facility for Navy aircraft, including carrier-based planes and helicopters. It was closed in 1997 and is now in...

The undeveloped Albany Dump peninsula (known as the Bulb) is composed of twisted metal, broken concrete, and other fragments of the urban landscape dumped into the Bay up until 1987. It has become a creative sculpture park and homeless campsite. At the base...

Alcatraz Island, the notorious prison that once housed 260 federal offenders, is now visited by over one million people a year. Tourists are permitted to see the main prison areas, however, much of the rambling old facility is off-limits.

This 85-mile long canal brings water from the Colorado River to the citizens and agricultural industry of the Imperial Valley. The canal was completed in 1940, to replace a previous canal which served the same function, but traveled partly through Mexico (...

Located at the bottom of the San Francisco Bay, Alviso is an old port town with a dried up marina. Over a hundred years ago, Alviso was San Jose's shipping port, and after railways made the port less vital, it became a major cannery town. The Bayside Cannery,...

Located in a remote stretch of desert, near the Nevada/California state line, the Amargosa Opera House, once an abandoned community center, offers weekly performances of classical ballet, theater, and pantomine. All the performances are written and executed...

The Ambassador Hotel, torn down in 2007, was a legendary urban resort built on Wilshire Boulevard in 1921, with over 600 rooms and 13 acres of floor space. For a few decades it was a popular place for celebrities, from Hollywood stars to politicians, to wine...

NASA's Ames site is an aerospace research and development installation, located at the southwest end of the San Francisco Bay in Silicon Valley, amid a cluster of similar enterprises, including Onizuka Air Base and Lockheed's Missile and Space division....
Like a bigger Alcatraz, Angel Island is an "away" place for the city, now as a park, but formerly as a site for activities undesirable in the midst of the city. Since the first use of the island as an artillery station in the 1860s, it has hosted many...
A museum about the Antelope Valley, with an emphasis on regional Native American history.
Arrowhead Water, one of the largest bottled water brands in the western United States, has its original source here, just outside the gates of the Arrowhead resort, a large old vacant resort at the base of the San Bernardino Mountains. The source is a pipe that...

Remnants from early and aborted construction attempts can be seen at the site of the proposed $1 billion Auburn Dam on the American River. This dam has been proposed in several forms since the 1950s; each time the proposed project failed to be executed....

An aviation parts yard, with an unusual collection of aircraft hulks and fuselages, used primarily by the movie industry. Pieces from this yard have been trucked all over the country and used in over 300 feature films, including Speed and Hero...

The Golden Eagle Refinery in Martinez, also known as the Avon Refinery, is one of five refineries located around the San Francisco Bay and Delta region. Valued around $1 billion, the refinery has a processing capacity of 166,000 barrels of crude per day,...

The Sidewinder Cafe was renamed the Bagdad Cafe after it served as the principal shooting location for the 1987 film Bagdad Cafe.

The old Bank of America building, downtown at 7th and Spring, was the Los Angeles headquarters for the bank from 1930 to 1972. The upstairs offices are now used by the Los Angeles Department of Engineering, while the grand bank lobby, with vaulted ceilings,...

The Barstow Marine Corps Logistics Base serves as a storage, distribution, and maintenance depot for Marine Corps facilities in the Pacific area and western portions of the United States. Equipment, weapons and supplies are warehoused, repaired,...

The Barstow Marine Corps Logistics Base serves as a storage, distribution, and maintenance depot for Marine Corps facilities in the Pacific area and western portions of the United States. Equipment, weapons and supplies are warehoused, repaired,...

Barstow was founded as a railway town, and continues to be a major logistical center for material entering and leaving Los Angeles. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail company maintains one of its largest railway yards here, with 48 classification tracks,...

The Army Corps of Engineers, responsible for most of the dredging and filling projects around the Bay, maintains the Bay Model in one of the original Marinship warehouses. The model is a two-acre functional scale model of the entire Bay and Delta region,...

Beale AFB is a high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft base. Located in the Sacramento Valley, it is home to the only stateside reconnaissance wing, which recently flew the SR-71 Blackbird and still flies the nation's fleet of U2 spy planes. Beale is also one of...
Benicia was the first army arsenal established on the West Coast, operating from 1849 to 1964, when its function was transferred to the larger Tooele Depot in Utah. It provided a defense for the gold mines of the Sierras, and supplied the army with weapons for...

The Benicia Refinery was built by Exxon from 1966-1969, and has the distinction of receiving the first shipload of crude to be delivered from the Alaskan Pipeline, in 1977. Most of the crude processed here still comes from the pipeline via Valdez, though the...