posted by on 2006.05.25, under Uncategorized

A R C H I T E C T U R A L t h u r s d a y s

As part of our new series of mostly daily informative news items, today I bring you some interesting bits of architecural history. For some reason when thinking about what to post to inaugurate architectural thursday, I kept returning to some photos I took last year at Fort Revere in Hull, MA.

Fort Revere, set into the side of Telegraph Hill in Hull, overlooks Boston Harbor and served to protect the city as both a Civil War and WWI era fortification. While I cannot find much direct information on this particular Fort, it was a part of the defensive system of Harbor-view gun emplacements found all around Boston Harbor.

The mounts for 12″ Disappearing guns are still evident at the site. These large breech-loading rifles were installed as part of the 1885 Endicott upgrade to national defenses. They hid behind the concrete embankment, disguised as a hill when viewed from the sea, and would pop up to fire, then sink back down to reload.

The series of concrete platforms, walls with stairs cut into them, tunnels from one gun location to another, and dark interconnecting rooms that make up this fort are fascinating and even beautiful. I especially like the concrete retained grassy areas surrounding each gun mount – as if some modernist landscaper was on the design staff way back then. The sheer bulk of the concrete, brutality of the site’s function and scarred remains serves to hint at the true purpose of this place – to fire huge holes into oncoming enemy ships. But now, as a ruin and a landscape, it has real beauty that comes from its somewhat mysterious layout and the precisions of its forms.

Some more information I found:

Fort Revere park info

A Brief History of American Seacoast Fortifications

Coast Defense Forts of New England

Comments are closed.