Vignette > Marine World

Fortunately not Mill Valley

On February 7, 1962, the Mill Valley city council held a hearing to consider a “Marine World” use permit for construction on 18 acres of city owned property.  The developers had considered several Bay Area sites, but Mill Valley marshland property was their first choice. The proposed Marine World recreational complex would be on the marshland opposite Tam High, roughly between today’s The Redwoods and the Mill Valley-Sausalito Multiuse path. “The multi-million dollar marine exhibition project will include a main building with two 500,000-gallon tanks: a whale and dolphin tank and a reef tank, both encircled by spectator areas. The outdoor sea area where seals and porpoises will perform will seat 3,000 people. A parking lot will accommodate more than1,000 cars.”  On May 2, 1962, the city council turned down the developers.  After a presentation by the developer’s attorney emphasizing that the project would be a national gate attraction, Councilman Michael Wornum said that depositing one million visitors annually at the entrance to a small conservative town of 10,000 who like their redwood homes, constituted a “nuisance value.” Marine World was subsequently built in Redwood City and later moved to its present location in Vallejo (1998 photo).