Fort Point - San Francisco, CA
Posted by: ucdvicky
N 37° 48.637 W 122° 28.615
10S E 546043 N 4184931
Quick Description: This historic site is part of the California Historical Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 12/8/2007 3:46:19 PM
Waymark Code: WM2QM7
"Thirty-six foot thick walls, a shot tower, places for upwards of 200 guns, guardhouse cells, living quarters, all were included in what was to become the most elaborate fortification on the Pacific coast. The original appropriation soon was used up, and by 1854 a request was sent to Washington for another $750,000 for the next fiscal year. In all, upwards of three million dollars were spent on Fort.'Point, $400,000 of it on a 2,000-foot long granite sea wall. Quarters, barracks, storehouses, and workshops were built along this sea wall to the east of the fort.
A visitor in 1855 noted that the granite block foundations were being laid in a trench nine feet long and 10 to 20 feet wide. A cistern was being dug within the enclosure. By 1856, the first floor had been completed and four 32-pounders were added for defense while the work was in progress. The second tier of gun arches was completed in 1857 when 240 men were in the work force. A year later, 200 men were pushing work on the arches for the fourth tier. Three spiral staircases went up at this time to a lighthouse on top.
In 1861, the War Department sent word to suspend work on the fort and the labor force was discharged, leaving unfinished a small portion of the defenses and the living quarters. With orders on February 15 to occupy "the Fort at Fort Point" General Albert S. Johnston decided that this included "of necessity the authority to do all such acts as are necessary to render the occupation secure and the place inhabitable." He ordered the work to resume.Two companies of the 3rd Artillery garrisoned Fort Point with 160 men. The California State Militia volunteered to man the place, but this was politely rejected. The Army said it had enough men to do it. Three years later McDowell asked the War Department for authority to form a regiment of civilian artillerymen to man Fort Point, but was told to use the troops that he had, even if be had to put infantrymen to work on the cannon. An 1864 estimate said that 700 artillerymen would be necessary to defend the fortress, but the garrison never approached that size.
General George Wright inspected the place on November 9, 1861. "The armament of the fort, although incomplete, was found in handsome condition and ready for any emergency," he reported. A month later, he added that he added, "found everything in the highest order" and by the industry and activity of the commanding officer "the fort has been put in the best possible condition to guard the passage of the Golden Gate."
In 1862, Wright reported that there were 140 guns mounted at Point, but that this was only half the number needed. lie explained that if war from a seagoing opponent ever should come, 'this is the Only point on the Pacific Coast where effective resistance could be made."
During the Civil War, the garrison at Fort Point was alerted whenever a ship was sighted at the Golden Gate. A revenue cutter challenged visitors under the frowning gun ports of the structure, and cannon were rolled out and ready to react at any hostile act.
Nothing came from the seaward side of Fort Point, and any military commitments placed on the garrison came from disorders in San Francisco. They were on alert at every election, the entire garrison armed and ready. The Volunteers who were California citizens were taken unarmed by boat to their voting precincts to east their ballots."http://www.militarymuseum.org/Fort%20Point.html
Note: The site isnt on the listing by the ASCE, but it's a California historic civil engineering landmark by the origination.
The Presidio of San Francisco
Type of structure/site: Fort
Date of Construction: 1853-1861
Engineer/Architect/Builder etc.: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Engineering Organization Listing: Other (specify in description)
Primary Web Site: [Web Link]
Secondary Web Site: [Web Link]
The listed coordinates for this waymark must be personally visited.
Please submit at least one ORIGINAL PHOTO of the structure, preferably one showing a different aspect, angle, season, etc. from the original waymark.
Give the DATE of your visit and any comments or additional information that will help other visitors enjoy this site.