Kilroy Was Here

In hiking the headlands near San Francisco — the narrow strips in the city itself, the Presidio, or the wide spaces of the Marin Headlands and Angel Island — you encounter remnants of the years in which those spaces were occupied for military use. Forts, bunkers, and other installations make for fascinating history and photographic possibilities amidst the golden coastal hills.

People looking for a wilderness experience can find these “ruins” disconcerting and irksome. The irony is that this wealth of open space, so close to the Bay Area’s seven million residents, owes its undeveloped status largely to that military past. And when bases and installations began to close, mid-century, the Bay Area’s strong environmental movement was able (not without struggle) to secure the land for the enjoyment of future generations.

In the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing photography of, and from, those military remnants. As for the phrase “Kilroy Was Here,” it refers … oh, but that’s what search engines are for!

Kilroy Was Here



    1. Thank you! By the way, this first day’s image was from the outer rim of Hill 88, which is apparently the remains of a radar control station for the Nike system missiles that used to be stationed in bunkers throughout the headlands. I have no idea what the function of that column might have been. It seems to me like some object of veneration or worship atop that hill … would like to capture it against an apocalyptic sunset some time …

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