Fort Mason Center
Swords into Paintbrushes
A former military base on San Francisco’s northern waterfront sets a new vision for the future.
Making the Inaccessible Accessible
Four decades or so back, the National Park Service took over Fort Mason and converted it into a nonprofit arts center. But the site needed an updated master plan for the future, and some of its facilities were falling into disrepair. Bay Area arts patrons launched a competition to discover a new vision for the location. The hurdles: as a onetime military base, Fort Mason was designed to be inaccessible, and it’s a highly protected historic landmark. It also looks out on San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz. In other words, it’s a world-class site with complications to match.