The Civil War-era fortress tucked beneath Golden Gate Bridge, Fort Point, was originally slated to be removed in the
original plans for the Golden Gate Bridge. Bridge Chief Engineer Joseph Strauss recognized its historic value. "While the old fort has no military value now," Strauss wrote,
"it remains nevertheless a fine example of the mason's art… it should be preserved and restored as a national monument."
In response to this challenge,
Strauss' engineers fashioned a massive steel arch that supported the roadway while preserving the fort. This design element saved Fort Point, which would be named a National Historic
Site by Richard Nixon in 1970.
Handcut granite spiral staircases lead to the upper tiers, with their intricate masonry and arching ceilings. From the top-level barbettes, visitors
can marvel at the underbelly of the Golden Gate Bridge. Please enjoy my examples of the mason's art below.