12 October 2016

From Sausalito over the Golden Gate Bridge to the U.S. Army gun batteries at the Presidio: 12 October 2016

Presidio Building 1648 is a nondescript single-story cinder block building; a relic from the Cold War. Building 1648 was the impetus for this ramble. 

Carl Nolte, a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, recently wrote an article about this building, and according to Mr. Nolte, the building was a top-secret military site. Presidio Building 1648 was the U.S. Army headquarters for the twelve Nike Missile launching sites located in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. The twelve Bay Area missile sites were but a small part of the more than 300 Nike Missile sites located throughout the United States. These missile sites were built to defend the country in case of an attack by Soviet bombers. The Nike missile sites were decommissioned in the late 1960s and early 1970s because their functional ability became obsolete. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area authorities are planning to demolish Presidio Building 1648 within the next few months, and that short-term time frame made me decide to view the building before it became history. 

The M.S. Marin, a Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District ferry took us from San Francisco's Ferry Building to Sausalito. I then walked from Sausalito through the site of Fort Baker, then over the Golden Gate Bridge and into that part of the Presidio adjacent to the southern terminus of the Golden Gate Bridge. 


I quickly located Presidio Building 1648. After an exploration of the area, I took a Muni #28 bus from the Presidio to the Marina District where I stopped at Le Marais Bakery for a croissant. After which I took a Muni #30 bus for the ride to downtown San Francisco, the conclusion of this little adventure.

Click on an image to see the full-size photograph
 Traveling to Sausalito on the M.S. Marin. The view is looking south
This is the route that the ferry took from San Francisco to Sausalito. The distance traveled was approximately 7.4 miles. Mile markers are displayed on the GPS generated track.
Passengers boarding the M.S. Marin in San Francisco. 
A view of San Francisco. The western span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is visible on the left, and the southern portion of the Golden Gate Bridge is visible on the right. The view is looking south. 
The fog was a delight to behold. It was poetry in motion; always changing and ever moving. The Golden Gate Bridge is straight ahead, hidden behind that low-level fog bank. The view is looking west. 
Angel Island is ahead. The ferry is preparing to dock at Sausalito. The view is looking east. 
The total distance traveled during the ramble was approximately 11.8 miles. Of that, about 5.6 miles were walking miles, and 6.2 miles were on the San Francisco public transit system. Mile markers are displayed on the GPS generated track. 
A view of Gabrielson Park. The park is adjacent to the Sausalito ferry dock. The view is looking north. 
In Sausalito on Bridgeway Road, adjacent to Richardson Bay. The view is looking west. 
Scoma's Restaurant on Richardson Bay. The view is looking south. 
The Trident Restaurant was opened in 1966 and was formerly owned by the Kingston Trio. The view is looking north. 
This photo of the Golden Gate Bridge was taken from Horseshoe Cove which is a part of Fort Baker. The view is looking southwest. 
Coast Guard Station No. 323 is located on the site of Fort Baker. The view is looking north. 
This underground bunker was a part of the World War II Harbor Defenses program. This is a photo of Bunker 411, which is located at Fort Baker. Bunker 411 was the storage location for granulated dynamite. The dynamite was used to refresh the 600 underwater mines located just outside the Golden Gate. Why was the dynamite granulated? The dynamite granules were poured into the mines after the underwater mines were taken out of the water to be examined and recharged. 
A view of the northern terminus of the Golden Gate Bridge. San Francisco is visible in the distance. The view is looking south. 
This picture was taken from the Golden Gate Bridge. Fort Baker and Horseshoe Cove are visible. Angel Island can be seen in the distance. The view is looking north. 
This is the northern tower of the Golden Gate Bridge. The two towers of the bridge are each 746 feet tall (226 meters). 
Walking towards San Francisco. The southern tower of the bridge is visible in the fog. 
This is a view of the northern portion of the Golden Gate Bridge. 

This is Presidio Building 1648. The view is looking south. 


Here is another view of Presidio Building 1648. The view is looking west. 
This is Battery Godfrey, it became operational in 1896 and was decommissioned in 1942. The view is looking north. 
A view of a warhead transportation room at Battery Godfrey  
Here is another view of Battery Godfrey, the view is looking north. 
Battery Marcus Miller is visible. This Gun Battery became operational in 1898 and was decommissioned in 1920. The view is looking north. 

"A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.” Dorothea Lange 

"Photography has not changed since its origin except in its technical aspects, which for me are not important." Henri Carter-Bresson

"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer." Ansel Adams

"The important thing is not the camera but the eye." Alfred Eisenstaedt


My first San Francisco Bay Area Photo Blog contains galleries of photographs that I posted between 2002 and 2011. Click Here to view the 2002 to 2011 photo galleries.

I used a Panasonic GX7 camera body mounted with a wide-angle Olympus 9mm lens to take these photographs.

Question or comment? I may be reached at neil@mishalov.com

09 October 2016

A West Berkeley ramble: 9 October 2016

The below photographs were taken with an iPhone 5 SE. The pictures were saved in the RAW image format. This capability became possible when Apple recently enabled newer iPhone cameras to save photo images in the RAW format. I used ProCam to process the photo images. ProCam is an app that takes advantage of the newly available RAW processing ability. Ok, that said, here are six RAW snaps I took in West Berkeley. The images were processed in Adobe Photoshop CS6.



This structure was a part of the California Ink Company. The building has been undergoing renovation for the last 4-5 years. Click the image to see the full-size photograph.
These storage containers are a part of the Berkeley Asphalt Company. Click the image to see the full-size photo.
This cement manufacturing facility is located between 6th Street and 5th Street. It is owned by the Cemex Concrete CompanyClick the image to see the full-size photograph.
This building was one of the 20+ buildings that were a part of the California Ink Company, which was in business between 1906 and 1978. The building has been renovated and is currently occupiedClick the image to see the full-size photo.
This is Picante Restauranteit is located on 6th Street. Click the image to see the full-size photo.
There was a huge pile of dirt sitting at this location for the last 9-10 years. This 31-acre plot of land is now a part of McLaughin Eastshore State ParkClick the image to see the full-size photo.

"A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.” Dorothea Lange 

"Photography has not changed since its origin except in its technical aspects, which for me are not important." Henri Carter-Bresson

"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer." Ansel Adams

"The important thing is not the camera but the eye." Alfred Eisenstaedt


My first San Francisco Bay Area Photoblog contains galleries of photographs that I posted between 2002 and 2011. Click Here to view the 2002 to 2011 photo galleries.

24 September 2016

Fort Mason, San Francisco, a concise history: 24 September 2016

Fort Mason has had an illustrious history. The fort was established as a military base by the Spanish in 1797. It was subsequently claimed by the U.S. Army when California entered the union in 1850. In 1863 it was reactivated to defend against potential Confederate attack. Following the Civil War, the post served as the military headquarters of the U.S. Army on the west coast.

In response to the 18 April 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire and recognizing the critical role of Fort Mason as a naval operations center, Congress appropriated funds to construct three piers that are still in use today. Built on land reclaimed from a tidal cove, Fort Mason served as the San Francisco Port of Embarkation, the administrative center for the military, from 1909 to 1962.

As the San Francisco Port of Embarkation, one of Fort Mason's first missions was the delivery of supplies and personnel to the western portion of the Panama Canal construction site.

During World War II, Fort Mason commanded a vast network of personnel and shipping facilities throughout the Bay Area. More than 1,500,000 troops and over 23,500,000 tons of cargo shipped out to the Pacific theater of war from Fort Masons three piers.

The surrender of Japan on 2 September 1945 saw the flow of soldiers and cargo leaving for the Pacific reversed. Between September 1945 and October 1946, Fort Mason welcomed nearly 800,000 homebound troops.

In 1962 the army declared the site to be military surplus. Fort Mason was then turned over to the National Park Service. In 1972 Congress established the first urban national park, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Fort Mason is a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.


Click on an image to see the full-size photograph.
 
A view of the 52nd Annual Friends of the San Francisco Public Library Big Book Sale. The sale took place in Fort Mason on Pier 3. 
The distance traveled was approximately 5.5 miles (8.8 kilometers). The cumulative elevation gain was about 360 feet (110 meters). Mile markers are displayed on the GPS-generated track. 

This photograph of tents on the Fort Mason parade ground was taken soon after the 1906 earthquake. Many San Franciscans became homeless due to the fires and collapsed buildings. Temporary housing was put up all over San Francisco to house the homeless; the temporary housing was removed within two years of the earthquake.
The construction of Pier 2 took place in 1911.
U.S. Army soldiers boarding a troopship at Fort Mason for transportation to the Pacific theater of war. 
Army soldiers at Fort Mason are heading up a gangplank to a troopship.
M4A4 Sherman Tanks are ready to be shipped to the Pacific theater of war. The M4A4 Sherman tank was built by the Detroit Tank Arsenal between July 1942 and November 1943. 7,499 M4A4 tanks were constructed. This picture was taken in front of Fort Mason's Pier 3, the current site of the San Francisco Public Library's Annual Book Sale. 
A U.S. Army Mail Orderly stationed at Fort Mason distributes mail aboard a troopship about to leave Fort Mason for the Pacific theater of war.
A view of Fort Mason and its three piers as seen on 4 November 1941. Pier 3, the current site of the San Francisco Public Library's annual book sale, is on the left.
This picture shows troops returning to Fort Mason from the Pacific battlefront; the war is over. More than 800,000 soldiers arrived at Fort Mason on their trip back home. This picture was taken in 1945. 
A current photograph shows the entryway to the pier area of Fort Mason. This is a view from Beach Street, San Francisco. 
---------------

Between 1877 and 1943, McDowell Hall was Fort Mason's commanding officer's residence. The army constructed the Italianate building in 1877 to provide a home for the post's commanding officer and a social center for important military gatherings. There was a covered entranceway to protect visiting dignitaries from the rain as they disembarked from their means of transportation. 


THEN This old postcard shows McDowell Hall, the headquarters of the Commanding General of Fort Mason. This photo is circa the 1920s.

NOW  This photo of McDowell Hall was taken on 24 September 2016. 
This intriguing photograph was taken soon after San Francisco was jolted by a 7.9 magnitude earthquake at 5:12 a.m. on 18 April 1906Brigadier General Frederick Funston, the Commanding General of Fort Mason, who is 41 years old, is shown adjacent to the covered entryway at the front of McDowell Hall. He is conferring with two government advisors. General Funston believed that U.S. Army soldiers should assist the San Francisco police and fire departments to regain civil order and fight the raging fires that had just started. He immediately set up a military command center in McDowell Hall to assist the city in dealing with the extensive damage and ensuing chaos and anarchy.

Later that day, General Funston had an urgent meeting with E.E. Schmitz, the Mayor of San Francisco.  Shortly after that, the mayor issued a proclamation stating that federal troops and San Francisco police officers were authorized to kill looters in the government's efforts to restore law and order. Approximately 500 looters were killed by the police and military during the period of the military emergency. City officials established a temporary City Hall at Fort Mason, and together, military and civilian authorities maintained order in the devastated city. General Funston died in Texas in 1917 at the age of 51.



The San Francisco 1906 Earthquake Proclamation by E.E. Schmitz, Mayor of San Francisco.


As an emergency response to the Civil War, the United States Army built a twelve-gun, two battery fortification at Fort Mason in 1864. These two batteries, known as Battery East and Battery West, served as a backup fortification to the three fortifications already defending the Golden Gate entryway to San Francisco Bay. Those fortifications were located at Fort Point, Angel Island, and Alcatraz Island. The two batteries at Fort Mason eventually became outdated, and they were demolished in 1911. The location of Battery West was then covered with earth and lay hidden for 70 years. In 1982 the National Park Service excavated and restored Battery West. This is a view of the fixed battery. 

This 10 inch Rodman Gun is sited at the restored Battery West. 
The three Fort Mason piers are visible from Battery West; Pier 3 is on the right. The Golden Gate Bridge is in the distance. The view is looking west. 
A photo of historic Pier 2. 
Pier 1 is on the left, and Pier 2 is on the right. The view is looking north. 

The pier area of Fort Mason. The buildings were used as Army offices and warehouses. 
The San Francisco Public Library 52nd annual book sale took place at Pier 3. More than 500,000 new and used books were available at meager prices. 

The entryway to Pier 3 is the San Francisco Public Library book sale location. The view is looking north.

"A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange 

"Photography has not changed since its origin except in its technical aspects, which for me are not important." Henri Carter-Bresson

"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer." Ansel Adams

"The important thing is not the camera but the eye." Alfred Eisenstaedt


My first San Francisco Bay Area Photoblog contains galleries of photographs I posted between 2002 and 2011. Click Here to view the 2002 to 2011 photo galleries.

Question or comment? I may be reached at neil@mishalov.com 

03 September 2016

Ascending San Francisco's mountain peaks on a cold and foggy morning: 3 September 2016

Sixteen people met at 9:00 a.m. at Starbucks Coffee on West Portal Avenue in San Francisco. Lincoln was going to lead the group on a hike of San Francisco's mountain peaks. The agenda included Mount Davidson, Twin Peaks, Mount Sutro, Tank Hill, Mount Olympus, Corona Heights Park and Grand View Park. The fog was dense, and it was windy and cold; precisely the kind of weather that builds character! I used a wide-angle 9mm fisheye body cap lens to take the photographs. I left the walk in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, at which time I walked up to Carl Street where I boarded an N-Judah streetcar going to a BART station.

A view from the summit of Corona Heights Park. Downtown San Francisco is ahead on the left. The fog is beginning to lift. Click the image to see the full-size photograph.


The distance I traveled was approximately 10.4 miles (16.7 kilometers). The cumulative elevation gain was about 2,071 feet (631 meters). Mile markers are displayed on the GPS generated track. Click the image to see the full-size map.



The group meeting at Starbucks Coffee in the West Portal area. Click the image to see the full-size photo.

The fog was thick as we climbed Mount Davidson. Click the image to see the full-size photograph.
The cross on the summit of Mount Davidson. Mount Davidson with an elevation of 928 feet (283 meters), is the highest natural point in San Francisco. Click the image to see the full-size photo.
On Noe Peak, 910 feet (277meters), the southern portion of Twin Peaks. It was windy, cold and foggy. Click the image to see the full-size photograph.


Descending Noe Peak and preparing to ascend Eureka Peak, 904 feet (276 meters) the northern peak of Twin Peaks. Click the image to see the full-size photograph.



A view from Eureka Peak looking East. Click the image to see the full-size photograph.



A view from Tank Hill 650 feet (198 meters), looking North. Click the image to see the full-size photograph.

A view of Mount Olympus 553 feet (169 meters). Click the image to see the full-size photograph.


A view from Corona Heights Park, looking South. Click the image to see the full-size photograph.



 The summit (520 feet, 158 meters), of Corona Heights Park. Downtown San Francisco is visible in the background. Click the image to see the full-size photograph.
This graph shows the elevation changes encountered during the hike. Click the image to see the full-size chart.

"A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.” Dorothea Lang 

"Photography has not changed since its origin except in its technical aspects, which for me are not important." Henri Carter-Bresson

"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer." Ansel Adams

"The important thing is not the camera but the eye." Alfred Eisenstaedt



My first San Francisco Bay Area Photoblog contains galleries of photographs that I posted between 2002 and 2011. Click Here to view the 2002 to 2011 photo galleries.