The Hunters Point Gantry crane is located in the Hunters Point Shipyard in San Francisco, CA. The commercial shipyard opened in 1867, housing the first permanent dry dock on the West Coast. Subsequent docks, built in 1916, were thought to be the largest in the world. At over 1000 feet in length, they were said to be big enough to accommodate the world's largest warships and passenger steamers.

In 1941, 11 days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor,  the Navy bought the 47 acre shipyard from Bethlehem Steel Co. It eventually grew to 866 acres — 446 of which were underwater.  At peak operation near the end of WWII, 18,000 men and women worked at Hunters Point.

The post-war shipyard saw the development of the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory (NRDL), tasked with the study and decontamination of ships used in the nuclear weapons tests in the Marshall Islands. Top secret radiological defense and fallout research, waste disposal, and the repair of heavily radiated ships coming back from Bikini Atoll left a site that was heavy on contamination and low on documentation.