Fort Baker
Fort Baker is one of the components of California's Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The Fort, which borders the City of Sausalito in Marin County and is connected to San Francisco by the Golden Gate Bridge, served as an Army post until the mid-1990s, when the headquarters of the 91st Division moved to Parks Reserve Forces Training Area. It is located opposite Fort Point at the entrance to the San Francisco Bay. Fort Baker was classified as an historic district on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. It features essentially intact historic structures and landscapes, and is currently under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service (NPS). It is renowned for its spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay. Its reuse is in full swing, and the rapid deterioration of the buildings has been stopped with the retrofit, renovation and reopening of all the original buildings as Cavallo Point Lodge . The property is undergoing LEED accreditation for its eco practices in reuse and green build, hopefully securing a Gold rating. It exists as a think tank conference center, with an Institute at the Golden Gate , working towards partnerships with environmentally minded and altruistic groups, rededicating Fort Baker as an eco-venue for the GGNRA, Conservancy, and Bay Area at large.

Military history
The military history of the area that is now Fort Baker began in 1850 when President Millard Fillmore created The Lime Point Military Reservation, for coastal defense positions and logistic support facilities, on the north side of the Golden Gate, across from Fort Point. However, due to lengthy litigation the land was not acquired by the Federal Government until 1866. Between 1872 and 1876, four barbette batteries were built: at Point Cavallo (Battery Cavallo), on the ridge above Lime Point (Cliff and Ridge Batteries), and on Gravelly Beach to the west (Gravelly Beach Battery). The only buildings on the reservation were barracks-like quarters for construction crews, storehouses, and offices, to the west of Horseshoe Bay. In 1890 plans were drawn up for modern "Endicott Type" coastal artillery batteries to be built from Point Cavallo to Point Bonita. Four batteries were completed by 1901: Batteries Spencer, Kirby, Duncan, and Orlando Wagner. In 1897 a tent camp was established where the present Main Post is today, and the reservation was renamed "Fort Baker". Construction of permanent structures began in 1901. By December 1942, during World War II, there were 159 structures at Fort Baker, many of them temporary. For example, a temporary frame hospital, built near the beach at the foot of the parade ground, was completed in October 1941 and demolished in 1981. During the 1960s and 1970s part of the frame hospital was used as the reference laboratory for Letterman Army Hospital, and included the rabies laboratory. In 2000, the final uniformed elements of the US Army left the Presidio of San Francisco and Fort Baker, a subpost of the Presidio. The 91st Division (Training Support), an Army Reserve unit, moved its headquarters from Fort Baker to Parks Reserve Forces Training Area, in Dublin, California.

Current activities
Many of the Army-built buildings still stand, and current institutions in the area include an active United States Coast Guard station, the Travis Marina (an Air Force rest and recreation facility), and the Bay Area Discovery Museum.

Scenic beauty
While not a very busy site for tourists and photographs as compared to the Marin Headlands, Ft. Baker and Cavallo Point allow an exquisite panoramic view. Here, from the bench installed by the Mano Seca Group, a 180-degree clear view of the Golden Gate demands a long, comfortable perusal of both the scenery and aquatic activities.

Cavallo Point conference center
In January 2005, an agreement was reached by the city of Sausalito and the National Park Service with developers for a retreat and conference center. Construction began in October 2006. Thirteen historic lodging buildings and seven historic commons buildings are being renovated; thirteen new lodging buildings are being built, as well. It is due to open in May 2008. It will have 15,000 square feet (1,400 m 2) of indoor space and 10,000 square feet (930 m 2) of outdoor event space, for events of 10 to 250 guests, a restaurant seating 100 people ("Murray Circle"), and an 11,000-square-foot (1,000 m 2) full-service spa. The 142-room resort will be run by Passport Resorts, which also runs the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur.

Fort Baker in popular culture
The site is also notable for being the site of some of the buildings of Starfleet Headquarters in the Star Trek universe. This is also used as the Final Pitstop (Finish Line) of The Amazing Race 2.

Building Activity

  • removed 2 media
    about 6 years ago via