Saturday, February 23, 2013

Fort Mason...

Fort Mason, named after Richard Barnes Mason (a former military governor of California) in 1882, was a U.S. Army post from 1864 to 1966 that played a significant role in the transport of troops and supplies to the Pacific during World War II (but the Spanish are credited for first establishing this former stronghold in 1797).

Nowadays, the 1200 acre Fort Mason area is utilized mostly for civilian and cultural purposes. The Fort Mason Center within the Fort Mason area is a complex of renovated late nineteenth and early twentieth century military buildings that are home to more than 50 non-profit cultural and environmental organizations as well as Greens Restaurant, serving exceptional vegetarian cuisine since 1979. Also part of Fort Mason Center is the Festival Pavilion where several exciting events are held annually including the Bay Area Brew Festival and the Pacific Orchid Exposition.

Entrance to the Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion.
Fort Mason's location near the north-eastern edge of The City allows for expansive views of both the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay Area. The gardens and parks within Fort Mason provide for plentiful recreation opportunities too.

Golden Gate Bridge behind Fort Mason Center buildings.
When the weather is nice, the Fort Mason Green is a where you're likely to find scores of sunbathing Marina dwelling locals and tourists, especially on the weekends. You are also likely to see bikers, hikers and exercise enthusiasts burning calories all along the paved pathways circling the park.

Fort Mason Green.
Looking toward the bay, follow the foot traffic you'll see along the northern edge of Fort Mason Green until you reach these crossroads...

Battery Street at McDowell Road
Head east along Battery Street for a short distance to reach the often overlooked Point San Jose where you will find the restored West Battery cannon that was originally erected in 1864 during the Civil War era.

West Battery
To the right of the cannon, there are several day-use only picnic tables that can be reserved for parties through Golden Gate National Recreation Area's Special Park Uses Group.

Point San Jose can be utilized for gatherings.
Behind the West Battery, you will notice a historic looking building that currently makes up the San Francisco Fishermans Wharf Hostel. If you're hungry for a bite to eat or maybe an espresso drink, just go up the back stairway and you'll reach Cafe Franco, a perfect place to pause and enjoy bay views that is open to the public (although it's not very obvious).

Stairway to Cafe Franco.

Inside Cafe Franco.

1 comment:

  1. I did not know many of the things mentioned here about Fort Mason. Amazing to know so many facts. Thanks for sharing.........

    San Francisco Music Festival