Fort Point Lighthouse

San Francisco, California - 1864 (1853**)

Photo of the Fort Point Lighthouse.

History of the Fort Point Lighthouse

The first lighthouse at this point was completed in 1853 and was awaiting its lens from Paris. Before the lighthouse would ever be placed in service, it was torn down to make way for Fort Winfield Scott. While the fort was under construction, a temporary light was built outside the fort. This lasted for about ten years before a major storm undermined the sea wall. The lighthouse was torn down again to allow for a bigger seawall to be built.

in 1864, A new lighthouse tower was built atop the fort standing 27' tall. The tower remained in use for about seventy years until the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge was started. The bridge towers standing 740' tall complete with lights became a "lighthouse" that mariners could spot from miles out to sea. This made the much smaller Fort Point light redundant and it was discontinued in 1934.

The official name of the fort changed in 1882 from Fort Winfield Scott to Fort Point. Fort Point has its own webpage on the National Park Service's website. It is located at

Directions: Coming from Marin across the Golden Gate Bridge, get off at Lincoln Blvd. and follow that to Long Ave. I never did find Long Ave until after I found a dirt parking lot at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. I hiked down the path until I found the remains of a brick wall and climbed up onto that. From there I was able to get a good view of the Fort Point Lighthouse that sits atop Fort Story. If you find Long Ave., it will lead you directly to the fort.

View more Fort Point Lighthouse pictures
Tower Information
Tower Height: 27.00'
Focal Plane: 110'
Active Aid to Navigation: Deactivated (1934)
*Latitude: 37.81070 N
*Longitude: -122.47760 W
See this lighthouse on Google Maps.


* Please note that all GPS coordinates are approximated and are meant to put you in the vicinity of the lighthouse, not for navigation purposes.

** This year denotes a station date. This is the year that a lighthouse was first reported in the vicinity or at that location.

All photographs and information on this site is copyright © 2016 Bryan Penberthy unless otherwise specified. No content may be used without written permission. Any questions or comments, please email me.