The wood-frame barracks at historic Fort Baker were constructed in 1902 to house over one hundred coastal defense soldiers. These buildings, built in the Colonial Revival style, were built from standard army plans, which included the porches as an elegant architectural element. In the 1950s, probably due to recurring maintenance problems, the army removed the historic porches. The removal of these two-story porches had a negative impact on the integrity and significance of the buildings and lessened their overall appearance.
Methodology behind the Porch Reconstruction
In December 2006, the National Park Service and the Fort Baker Retreat Group began the rehabilitation project to convert Fort Baker into Cavallo Point, the Lodge at Golden Gate. The rehabilitation plan called for the post’s barracks buildings to be converted into assembly, dining and office space.
The National Park Service does not traditionally add missing historic architectural elements back onto buildings unless there is sufficient historic documentation. But because the historic preservation professionals had the original 1905 building plans, as well as several historic photographs, the decision was made to re-construct new porches back onto the barracks buildings. New construction materials were used, so that in later years, future architects and historians would be able to tell the difference between the original 1905 porches and the newly added 2006 porches.
To learn more about other Golden Gate National Recreation Area preservation projects, please visit the Historic Preservation page.