Hayward is a city located in Alameda County, California in the East Bay subregion of the San Francisco Bay Area. With a 2014 population of 149,392, Hayward is the sixth largest city in the Bay Area and the third largest in Alameda County. Hayward was ranked as the 37th most populous municipality in California. It is included in the San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census. It is located primarily between Castro Valley and Union City, and lies at the eastern terminus of the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge. The city was devastated early in its history by the 1868 Hayward earthquake. From the early 20th century until the beginning of the 1980s, Hayward’s economy was dominated by its now defunct food canning and salt production industries.
Mount Eden was a former city that was incorporated into Hayward in the 1950s, at the same time as Schafer Park. Russell City was a former unincorporated community. It existed from 1853 until 1964. It is now the location of an industrial park. The Russell City Energy Center, a 429 megawatt natural gas-fired power plant, built by Calpine, is located there. Stokes Landing, Hayward Heath, and Eden Landing were communities now within Hayward city limits.
The Hayward Fault Zone runs through much of Hayward, including the downtown area. The United States Geological Survey has stated that there is an “increasing likelihood” of a major earthquake on this fault zone, with potentially serious resulting damage. San Lorenzo Creek runs through the city. Hayward borders on a large number of municipalities and communities. The cities bordering on Hayward are San Leandro, Union City, Fremont, and Pleasanton. The census-designated places bordering on Hayward are Castro Valley, San Lorenzo, Cherryland, Sunol, and Fairview.
Hayward has a large number of manufacturing companies, both corporate headquarters and plants. This includes some high-tech companies, with Hayward considered part of a northern extension of Silicon Valley. Manufacturing plants in Hayward include Annabelle Candy, Columbus Salame, the Gillig bus company, Impax Laboratories, the Shasta soft drink company, and a PepsiCo production and distribution center.
Southland Mall is the largest shopping center in Hayward.
The economy of Hayward in the first half of the twentieth century was based largely on the Hunt Brothers Cannery. The cannery was opened in Hayward in 1895 by brothers William and Joseph Hunt, who were fruit packers originally from Sebastopol, California. The Hunts initially packed local fruit, including cherries, peaches, and apricots, then added tomatoes, which became the mainstay of their business. At its height in the 1960s and 1970s, Hunt’s operated three canneries in Hayward, at A, B, and C Streets; an adjacent can-making company; a pickling factory; and a glass manufacturing plant. From the 1890s until its closure in 1981, Hunt’s employed a large percentage of the local population. The air around Hayward was permeated by the smell of tomatoes for three months of each year, during the canning season. The canneries closed in 1981, as there were no longer enough produce fields or fruit orchards near the cannery to make it economically viable. Much of the production was moved to the Sacramento Valley. The location of the former canneries is marked by a historic water tower with the Hayward logo. A housing development now occupies much of the former cannery site.
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), the regional rapid transit system, has two stations in Hayward: the Hayward station, in downtown; and the South Hayward station, near the Hayward-Union City border. BART operates a repair yard in Hayward. The AC Transit bus system, which provides bus service for Alameda County and Contra Costa County, operates in Hayward, and has a repair/training center located there. Amtrak, the national rail passenger system, provides daily service at its Hayward station for the Capitol Corridor train, which runs between San Jose in the South Bay, and Auburn in the Greater Sacramento area.
Hayward has one hospital with emergency departments, St. Rose Hospital, which was at risk of closure as of 2012. A Kaiser Permanente Medical Center closed in 2014, replaced by a San Leandro hospital. Horizon Services, which administers substance abuse recovery programs in Hayward and other locations in the Bay Area, operates out of Hayward, as does the Family Emergency Shelter Coalition. The Hayward Fire Department opened the Firehouse Clinic in November 2015, the first combined fire station/medical center in California.
The city created the Hayward Public Art Program in 2008, to create murals to beautify the city and combat graffiti, and has commissioned numerous murals throughout the city. The program won a League of California Cities Helen Putnam Award of Excellence in 2011.
Hayward has been a Tree City USA since 1986. Hayward declared itself a nuclear-free zone, a largely symbolic act, in 1987. The city is the setting for the Hayward Gay Prom, one of the earliest and longest running gay proms in the United States. The city introduced road signs in 2015 encouraging better behavior while walking or driving, using humorous phrases like “It’s a speed limit, not a suggestion.”
Many of Hayward’s cultural landmarks and points of interest are in its downtown area. Three city hall buildings have been built: Hayward City Hall; the City Center Building, an abandoned 11-story building and Hayward’s second city hall; and the first city hall at Alex Giualini Plaza, whose architectural motifs form the current city logo.
Other downtown features include the Hayward Area Historical Society museum, which relocated and re-opened in June 2014; Buffalo Bill’s Brewery, one of the first brewpubs in California; and Cinema Place, Hayward’s only movie theatre, with associated murals and an art gallery. Many of the Hayward Public Art Program murals are located downtown.
Hayward has two sites in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP): the Green Shutter Hotel and Eden Congregational Church. A third site, Meek Mansion (also in the NRHP), while not within city limits, is managed by HARD and the Hayward Area Historical Society. The three sites are also on the California Register of Historical Resources. Agapius Honcharenko’s Ukraina Ranch is the only California Historical Landmark in the city.
Hayward has four parks administered by the East Bay Regional Park District: the Don Castro Regional Recreation Area, Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Park, the Hayward Regional Shoreline, and Garin Regional Park. The Eden Landing Ecological Reserve is located at the Hayward shoreline, and includes 600 acres of salt ponds set to be converted to tidal wetlands. Hayward is also home to the oldest Japanese garden in California designed along traditional lines. The 3.5 acre Japanese Gardens was dedicated in 1980. The garden is administered by the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (HARD), which operates a number of parks and facilities, primarily in Hayward, including Kennedy Park, the Sulphur Creek Nature Center, the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center, and Memorial Park with the Hayward Plunge swim center. HARD is the largest recreation district in California.
The East Bay FC Stompers amateur soccer team is based in Hayward. The All Pro Wrestling professional wrestling promotion and training school is based in Hayward, and performs shows there. Hayward was briefly considered for the new home of the New York Giants baseball team in 1957, with San Francisco acquiring the team.
The Hayward Area Recreation and Park District operates the Skywest and Mission Hills golf courses. In addition to the two public golf courses, TPC Stonebrae, a private golf club, operates in Hayward. It hosts the TPC Stonebrae Championship, part of the Web.com Tour since 2009.
Hayward is home to the main campus of California State University, East Bay, formerly known as California State University, Hayward. It is a public university within the California State University system. Pioneer Amphitheatre is located there, and is host to public music festivals. Hayward is the home of Chabot College, a community college in the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District.
Hayward is served by the Hayward Unified School District (HUSD), which operates three high schools, Mount Eden, Tennyson, and Hayward High. Additional high schools include the Eden Area Regional Occupational Program, the Leadership Public Schools-Hayward charter school (ranked #2 among charter schools statewide by a University of Southern California study) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation charter public high school, Impact Academy of Arts and Technology. The New Haven Unified School District operates in Union City and South Hayward, with one high school, Conley-Caraballo, located in Hayward. The San Lorenzo Unified School District operates Royal Sunset High School within Hayward. A large private high school, Moreau Catholic High School, is located in Hayward. Hayward was the recipient of a 2010 Promise Neighborhood grant from the United States Department of Education, through CSUEB.
Two newspapers of general circulation cover Hayward. Hayward had, from 1944 to 2016, a daily newspaper, the Daily Review, published most recently by Bay Area News Group. The Tri-City Voice newspaper, based in Fremont and published twice weekly, covers Hayward as well as the Tri-City area of Fremont, Newark, and Union City. It was founded in 2002. The East Bay Express weekly newspaper, founded 1978, covers Hayward as part of its East Bay coverage. Local television stations, and AM and FM radio from Oakland and San Francisco reach Hayward, as do some stations from San Jose, Sacramento, and Salinas. The city’s cable TV carrier is Comcast. California State University, East Bay, formerly California State University, Hayward, has a newspaper called The Pioneer that has been covering the East Bay since 1961. Chabot College’s student radio station, KCRH, operates mostly within city limits.
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