During the Civil War, advances in artillery proved that masonry forts in the style of Fort Point were unable to withstand bombardment by heavy ordinance. Consequentially, the period following the war was marked by innovative revisions in seacoast defense. In this era, brick and mortar forts were gradually replaced by earthwork batteries.
In 1872, work began on several new gun positions on the coastal bluffs behind Fort Point. By 1873, the first emplacement—called West Battery—was completed and armed with twelve 15-inch Rodman cannon. That same year, construction began on Battery East and a covered path was soon built to connect batteries East and West. During the Spanish-American War of 1898, 8-inch rifled Rodman cannon were emplaced at Battery East.
When the Endicott-period batteries were constructed at the Presidio during the 1890’s, Battery West was almost completely destroyed. At Battery East, however, the earthen works built to protect the large Rodman guns are still visible, as are the brick-lined magazines used to store ammunition. The site commands beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay, and downtown.
As we left the Golden Gate overlook and head towards the trail, you will come to a tunnel that may represent a drainage tunnel. If you step down it opens up, so you have to crouch somewhat to pass thru. Along here you will see many of the earthen batteries. Very interesting and fun to find.
After the Gold Rush of 1849, San Francisco quickly became the most important city on the West Coast, prompting the U.S. Army to build Fort Point to guard the Golden Gate. Originally intended to defend against a foreign invasion, the fort was rushed to completion to fend off possible Confederate attack during the Civil War. It is the only fort with caemates, or protected enclosures for cannons, on the West Coast of the United States.
Defending San Francisco Bay against invading ships depended on a crossfire strategy. Cannons at three locations would fire upon incoming ships as they passed through the Golden Gate. However, no hostile shots were ever fired.
One of a kind on the West Coast, Fort Point resembles brick forts built on the East Coast before the Civil War. The fort had four tiers of cannons and could house up to 126 cannons behind seven-foot-thick walls and on the roof.
Joseph Strauss dreamed of a golden bridge spanning San Francisco Bay.
But people opposed it fearing it would never survive the strong tides, it would lower property values, it would ruin the view. More than 2,000 lawsuits were filed to stop the project.
Strauss persevered and, in 1930, at last won approval for a bond issue. But then the Great Depression settled over America and no one dared buy the first six million dollars in bonds to start construction.
Finally Strauss came to A.P. Giannini, founder of Bank of America. Giannini also had a vision — of serving fully California's growth.
Giannini asked one question: “How long will this bridge last?”
Struass replied, “Forever!” If cared for, it should have “life without end.”
Giannini said, “California needs that bridge! We'll buy the bonds.”
In 1933, the Golden Gate Bridge was begun.
You can walk or bike it, but to cross it in a car, there is a fee. We choose to see in on a cruise through the bay and you can see it from the Golden Gate visitor Center, but the view from Fort Point is fantastic. The Golden Gate bridge has to be one of the most famous bridges painted in International Orange. Built in 1937 the bridge was built at a cost of $35 million in principal and $39 million in interest and 11 workers. It stands as a symbol of San Francisco with its beautiful Art Deco design and stands with towers extending 700 feet and over 100 feet beneath the bay. The roadway suspension is supported by two cables, each more than 7,000 feet and containing 80,000 miles of wire stretch over the top of the towers and are imbeded into concrete anchorages. Considered engineering marvel in 1937, it has stood the test of time. You can walk or bike the 1.2 mile-long bridge. During the part of the year with daylight savings time, the bridge walk is open to pedestrians between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. The remainder of the year the bridge walk is open from 5 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
About 79 years ago, on 27 May 1937, some 200,000 spectators gathered near the entrance of the San Francisco Bay for the opening of one of the technological wonders of modern times—the Golden Gate Bridge, a stunning engineering and artistic creation completed after five years of construction. At 4,200 feet, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world until 1964, when the Verrazano Narrows Bridge opened in New York City but the Golden Gate remains an iconic image in American culture.
You can drive, bike, or even - if you are dressed right – walk across the world’s most beautiful bridge. It’s 1.7 miles across. (You can catch a bus back – though some visitors just walk half-way across, take in the scene, and return.) The walkway is on the eastern side – facing the bay and Alcatraz – so it’s hard to get much of a Pacific view through the traffic. It’s not open to pedestrians 24 hours; check the website for opening hours.
In case you are wondering, its color is, and always has been, International Orange, which was selected to blend with the surrounding hills but contrast with the sky and water.
The beautiful Golden Gate Bridge with its famous red paint stands out from the wonderful scenic coastline, mountains and the bay itself. Most visitors to San Francisco will make it a point to visit Golden Gate Park just to get a glimpse of this wonderful and amazing structure.
I've crossed this bridge many times and every single time I find myself gazing up at this magnificent structure.
Everybody knows this bridge, but for a Portuguese is... "I think I've seen it before". And that's because the bridge has a twin in Lisbon.
I know, that this one is a little bigger and older, and the technical problems are always stronger in first model than in second one, and the rough sea is a challenge that Lisbon doesn't face.
So... not too impressed, but... respectful.
(Allow me one confession: the three days I spent in San Francisco, each time I looked at the bridge, made me appreciate more the light of Lisbon. Quite a difference...)
No trip to San Francisco is complete with checking out the Golden Gate Bridge, for a tourist that is, and we loved it so much, we crossed over it twice. Well we had to get back of course.
It was amazing. You could see the skyline of San Francisco so clearly, and Alcatraz too. We took some video and some pics at the Vista Point off Redwood Highway, which seemed like the place to get the best pics, and while over that side of the bridge, drove on a bit more to see the Giant Redwood Forest.
The bridge was being re-painted while we were there, and Im sure that not matter when we would have been there the bridge would be being painted, it's probably and all year through job, it is massive.
Taking in the view of the Golden Gate Bridge from any angle and from either the south end or the north is something you will remember for a long time. And, if you are lucky, you will see it on a day when the fog and low clouds are allowing a full view. I have been there many times being a California native and have only a few times seen the entire bridge.
The Golden Gate Bridge is not only a symbol of San Francisco but a symbol of the United States .... Mysterious at night when covered in fog, Magical at sunrise or sunset and breathtaking during the day ..... A must see in person in order to understand it's beauty. This is a must do for any world traveler or anyone visiting the Bay Area .....
If you have a car stop at Vista View the first exist as your going North and get off and admire the city from afar. Then walk the bridge to it's mid point and marvel at engineering at it's finest.
Also if you have a car go thru the underpass and go up Bunker Hill where you'll be able to see the entire bridge at it finest !!!!!!
Well worth the time you will spend here !!!!!!!
But be warned .... this might be the coldest part of the entire Bay Area ... bring a jacket !!!!!
Any Description of Places to Go in San Francisco should include this photo spot. It is always awesome with the fog and being ABOVE the bridge. Don't leave this out of your itinerary!
Here are some photos of the bridge from the north side of the bridge. There will be an exit just across the bridge which will take you to a large parking area where you can get out and take pictures. This is well worth the few minutes to stop and see this amazing bridge up close. You will also see old bunkers for artillery to protect the city.
No food to be purchased here
See my tips called "5 Star View", etc., and also "off the beaten path" for more photos of the bridge.
This will give you an idea of whether you want to take several hours and take photos, etc.
It can be chilly and windy, plan accordingly.
It is barely connected to Baker Beach around the corner, but I have also heard it called Marshall's Beach and Golden Gate Bridge Park....steep trail down and also back up (from the parking lot).
There was one couple there when we looked down from the trail, and from what I hear it is mostly gay men and a few hetero couples on weekends when it is warm enough.
go Thru the toll booth and turn right on the 1st street---Lincoln Blvd west 1/2 mile to Langdon Ct
turn rt, look for parking lot across from Fort Scott, then take the beach trail down lots of steps to the beach and go to the right.