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SunCal Plan Impacts Artisans at Alameda Point

We spoke today with Tim Cisneros of The Forgeworks at Alameda Point. He’s been told that he’ll have to re-locate his architectural blacksmith shop to make way for SunCal’s planned development of 4,000 to 6,000 homes at the former base.

The Forgeworks shares space at 450 West Atlantic Avenue with other craftsmen and artisans. Most of his work involves producing forged iron railings for the building industry but he also does sculptural work that marries elegant bronze and iron metal designs with basalt rock bases. Earlier this year he did a series inspired by a visit to Yosemite Park.

Mr. Cisneros’ pride is a massive 95-year old forging hammer capable of applying 300 pounds of pressure at 180 beats per minute. Placement of the hammer requires a special foundation of concrete and steel poured into a pit in the floor to support it. The hammer was built in Philadelphia in 1913, and was shipped to Texas. Mr. Cisneros bought it from an estate sale for a Texas oil family that used the hammer to forge drilling equipment. He estimates that it will require a 2000 pound lift and a tractor-trailer to move the hammer. He and the other craftsmen in the building are looking at another Alameda Point location to move to, but Mr. Cisneros still estimates it will cost him $10,000 to move. That is, if the move doesn’t bankrupt his business.

See the massive forging hammer at work in this video below.

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