Marin County Points of Interest

Fort Baker in Marin Headlands 11 June 2005
(Click Photo to Zoom)
Fort Baker
Originally Named Lime Point Military Reservation
Marin Headlands
Built 1866
Name Changed 1897

In 1850, President Millard Fillmore designated this site on the north shore of the Golden Gate Strait for a casemated fort named Lime Point Military Reservation. The new fort was to be similar to Fort Point on the opposite shore of the Golden Gate Strait.

By the time construction began in 1866, Civil War battles had revealed that casemated forts were vulnerable to modern artillery. The Army built four barbette batteries instead. (A barbette is a battery protected by earthworks.)

Battery Spencer was completed in 1890 followed by Batteries Kirby and Duncan in 1900 and Battery Orlando Wagner in 1901.

In 1897, Lime Point Military Reservation was renamed Fort Baker. Soldiers lived in a tent camp until construction of permanent buildings began in 1901. Most of the buildings built between 1901 and 1910 are intact. More buildings were added over the years, particularly during World War II, but most have been razed.

The historic structures at Fort Baker are Battery Duncan, Battery Cavallo, Battery Yates, Mine Cable Tank Building, Baker-Barry Tunnel, Battery Spencer, Battery Wagner, Battery Gravelly and Battery Kirby.

Adapted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 1973.

Blue Diamonds

Fort Baker contributes to National Register Historic District #73000255 which also includes Fort Barry and Fort Cronkhite. All three forts are included in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and are accessible to the public.

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