Fort Mason

Unfinished History


Fort Mason, c. 1880s.

Photo: Shaping San Francisco

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Soldier tents at Fort Mason, 1918.

Photo: wnp26.483

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The former Base Commander's quarters, part of the Fort Mason Center now.

Photo: Chris Carlsson

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Fort Mason Officers' Row housing, 2017.

Photo: Chris Carlsson

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One of a number of houses built in the 1850s when the eastern slope of Black Point was home to a burgeoning abolitionist and bohemian (for the time) culture in San Francisco.

Photo: Chris Carlsson

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Main office buildings, art galleries, and piers, once the heart of the bustling military base, now home to museums, restaurants, and theaters.

Photo: Chris Carlsson

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Fort Mason, Building E and piers, 2010.

Photo: Chris Carlsson

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Old batteries at Fort Mason dating to the 19th century were part of the original defensive ramparts of the city's military perimeter.

Photo: Chris Carlsson

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Longtime director of Fort Mason, Marc Kasky, describes his years making it what it is today.

Video: Chris Carlsson for Shaping San Francisco

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The original shoreline, one of the few places where it still visible in San Francisco.

Photo: Chris Carlsson

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Another wider view of the original shoreline.

Photo: Chris Carlsson

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The original shoreline along Fort Mason in 2009.

Photo: Chris Carlsson

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The north slope of Fort Mason above the old railroad tunnel, recently converted in a pedestrian friendly native species garden.

Photo: Chris Carlsson


Black Point train and tunnel, 1918, when the military would send goods to Fort Mason for shipment to military bases in the Pacific, including Hawaii and the Philippines (a U.S. territory from 1898 to 1946).

Photo: National Maritime Museum

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View north from Fort Mason across Aquatic Park with the East Bay in the distance.

Photo: Chris Carlsson

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The Fort Mason Great Meadow (the northeast corner of it).

Photo: Chris Carlsson

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View southwest across Great Meadow from behind the Bufano Madonna.

Photo: Chris Carlsson

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The Bufano Madonna in Fort Mason.

Photo: Chris Carlsson

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Statue of Congressman Philip Burton, legislative architect of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which now encompasses Fort Mason.

Photo: Chris Carlsson

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Photo: Chris Carlsson

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Burton Statue in the Great Meadow at sunset, September 2020.

Photo: Chris Carlsson