National Register of Historic Places in Marin County
These three forts are strategically located in the headlands above the entrance to San Francisco Bay.
In 1866, the federal government purchased land for Fort Baker and Fort Barry to augment the Presidio of San Francisco in deterring the passage of hostile ships through the Golden Gate into San Francisco Bay. Land for Fort Cronkhite was acquired in 1914.
Between the two World Wars, the fortifications were continually modified to keep abreast of the increased range and firepower of naval ships.
During World War II, the fortifications were modernized with defense against aircraft and torpedo boats.
After World War II, ground-to-air missiles were installed. Two NIKE sites were built in 1955. One of them was still operational in 1973 when the forts were listed on the National Register.
Fifteen batteries, spanning five systems of defense, have survived. All are disarmed and in good structural condition.
All three forts are included in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and are accessible to the public.
Adapted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 1973.