• East view from Crissy Field overlook with old Coast Guard station on left and city on right

    Presidio of San Francisco

    California

Fort Scott: Battery Cranston (1897-1943)

10-inch gun and crew at Battery Cranston
An artillery crew awaiting orders at their 10-inch gun at Battery Cranston. The Marin Headlands are visible in the background.
National Park Service, GGNRA
 

General Information

This Endicott-era battery was built to provide seaward defenses against capital and moderate-sized warships.Completed and armed in 1897, Battery Cranston's arsenal included two 10-inch guns mounted on disappearing carriages. The guns had a range of about ten miles.

At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in 1898, Battery "E", Third Artillery was responsible for these guns. During the early years of World War II, Battery Cranston was manned by the Sixth Coast Artillery Regiment, Battery "B". In 1943, the War Department ordered this battery--along with twelve additional Endicott-era batteries near San Francisco--salvaged because they were no longer needed. By the time of its retirement, Battery Cranston was one of the oldest operational batteries in the San Francisco Bay.

Origin of Name

Battery Cranston was named in honor of Lieutenant Arthur Cranston, Fourth Artillery, who was killed at the Lava Beds during the Modoc War in 1873. Cranston had been stationed at the Presidio of San Francisco when the Modoc War began.

 
Battery Cranston today
Battery Cranston (viewed from behind) as it appears today. The battery's three gun emplacements have been converted into maintenance offices and work shops for the Golden Gate Bridge and Transportation District.
National Park Service, GGNRA
 

Access and Current Condition

Battery Cranston is located on coastal bluffs adjacent to the Golden Gate toll plaza. It can be reached via Lincoln Boulevard to Merchant Road. Parking is available along Merchant Road in the gravel parking area. The Coastal Trail runs adjacent to the gun battery.

The three gun positions have been converted into maintenance offices and work shops for the Golden Gate Bridge District. Interior access is not available to the public.

 

Did You Know?

Grave marker in the Presidio pet cemetery

Though the majority of animals buried in the Presidio pet cemetery are dogs and cats, there are also parakeets, canaries, pigeons, macaws, rabbits, hamsters, rats, lizards, goldfish, and mice.