In 1942, the Tanforan racetrack of San Bruno, California became the Tanforan Assembly Center – a Japanese Internment camp that held nearly 8,000 internees. The camp converted existing horestalls into makeshift barracks for the thousands of Japanese Americans detained amid the fear of a post-Pearl Harbor World War II.
The Tanforan Assembly Center Memorial Committee recognized the need to honor this historic injustice and have been working with BART to develop both a commemorative photo exhibit and a physical memorial site. RHAA provided pro bono design efforts for the memorial to honor three retired partners who are of Japanese American descent and were interred during World War II — Asa Hanamoto, Kazuo Abey, and Harold Kobayashi.
The site features a re-creation of the barrack horse stalls with interpretive signage that provides insight to life as an internee. The names of all those interned are imprinted on the stall doors. A sculpture of interned children by Sandra Shaw and inspired by the photos of Dorothea Lange stands prominently next to a single Japanese Cherry Tree.