San Francisco Port of Embarkation, US Army

  • Also Known As: Fort Mason Center

  • Travel Genus: Sight
  • Sight Category: Historic District

Although Fort Mason was originally established as a coastal fortification in the 1860s, it is best remembered as headquarters of the San Francisco Port of Embarkation between 1910 and 1963. During World War II, Liberty ships built in Bay Area shipyards were constantly ferrying troops to the immense pier and dock system at Lower Fort Mason, ultimately transporting 1.6 million troops and 23 million tons of cargo to the Pacific theater through the port administered facilities. New York Times Magazine commented at the time that, "This port has one main commodity to send abroad. It is exporting war." "From the early days of the campaigns in the Southwest Pacific, when men and supplies available to reinforce our position were but a trickle, to the time when with added resources we were enabled to mount offensive operations with increasing violence," wrote General Douglas MacArthur, the U.S. Army's San Francisco Port of Embarkation and its subsidiary Oakland Army Terminal, "gave magnificently of their full support--support which in no small measure contributed to the victorious march which carried our arms to the heart of the Japanese Empire."

Lower Fort Mason is a large complex of warehouses and piers, built between 1910 and 1914 to supply Army bases across the Pacific. Their red-tiled roofs and white stucco facades evoke Spanish Colonial architecture on a grand scale. Lower Fort Mason is now the Fort Mason Center, serving the community as a cultural center and office space for non-profit organizations ranging from theaters and ethnic museums to art galleries and environmental advocacy groups. It is this section of Fort Mason , know as San Francisco Port of Embarkation, U.S. Army, that has been designated a National Historic Landmark. - NPS



Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
1942/04/18 Ronald Reagan Military Reagan is ordered to active duty, due to poor eyesight, he is excluded from serving overseas and is assigned to San Francisco Port of Embarkation, Fort Mason as a liaison officer of the Port and Transportation Office.

Data »

Particulars for San Francisco Port of Embarkation, US Army:
Owner Federal
Structure Type Fortification
Sight Category Historic District
Criteria Historic Event
Area of Significance Military
Historic Use Military Facility
Level of Significance National

US National Registry of Historic Places Data »

Accurate at time of registration: 4th February 1985

Registry Name: San Francisco Port of Embarkation, US Army
Registry Address: Ft. Mason
Registry Number: 85002433
Resource Type: District
Owner: Federal
Architect: unknown
Architectural Style: No style listed
Area in Acres: 21
Contributing Buildings: 14
Contributing Structures: 5
Other Certification: Designated National Landmark
Certification: Listed in the National Register
Nominator Name: National Historic Landmark
Level of Significance: National
Area of Significance: Military
Applicable Criteria: Event
Criteria Consideration: Significance of less than fifty years
Period of Significance: 1900-1924, 1925-1949
Significant Year: 1912, 1945
Historic Function: Defense
Historic Sub-Function: Military facility, Fortification
Current Function: Landscape
Current Sub-Function: Park

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