Fort Point National Historic Site

Fort Point was built by the U.S. Army between 1853 and 1861 to protect San Francisco Bay from Confederate and foreign naval attacks. Both the location of the fort, and its architecture and masonry are something to behold. Situated near the southern base of the Golden Gate Bridge, the fort has spectacular views of the ocean, headlands, and city. Its arched casemates are regarded as a notable example of Civil War-era brickwork.

Fortunately, San Francisco Bay was never attacked, and over the years the fort was used for army barracks and trade schools. It was spared from demolition when the Golden Gate Bridge was constructed but it wasn’t until October 16, 1970 that Fort Point became a National Historic Site. Though established through its own enabling legislation, this site is managed by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Today, Fort Point is a popular tourist destination where visitors can see period uniforms and cannon and rifle demonstrations and hear military music and talks. Exhibits include the role of Buffalo Soldiers and women during the Civil War, the lighthouses that have stood at Fort Point over the years, and the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge.