Fort Point was built between 1853 and 1861 by the U.S. Army Engineers as part of a defense system of forts planned for the protection of San Francisco Bay. Designed at the height of the Gold Rush, the fort and its companion fortifications would protect the Bay's important commercial and military installations against foreign attack. The fort was built in the Army's traditional "Third System" style of military architecture (a standard adopted in the 1820s), and would be the only fortification of this impressive design constructed west of the Mississippi River. This fact bears testimony to the importance the military gave San Francisco
and the gold fields during the 1850s. Photo by Carol Highsmith.
Although Fort Point never saw battle, the building has tremendous significance due to its military history, its architecture, and its association with maritime history. Photo by Carol Highsmith.