Fort Mason Black Point Historic Gardens


Fort Mason Black Point Historic Gardens

At the northeast corner of Fort Mason in San Francisco, California, sits the Black Point Historic Gardens, connecting Aquatic Park below to Fort Mason above. Closed for over 50 years due to neglect and overgrowth, the terraced and steep gardens, walkways, and stairs have been restored to allow access from the bluff above to the waterfront above.

Fort Mason is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) and is managed by the National Park Service (NPS); the NPS is tasked with protecting night skies and enhancing visitor enjoyment while also addressing public safety, energy use, lighting costs, and the protection of natural and cultural resources.

The immediate city surroundings unfortunately suffer from vagrancy, graffiti, and crime. The gardens are open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. Balancing safety, security, and the Best Practices lighting guidelines for a National Park Service site in a major urban environment is a unique challenge.

The Engineering Enterprise carefully selected lighting instruments to be inconspicuous during daylight hours. Only one luminaire type was used for simplified maintenance should parts become damaged or stolen. Low voltage was imperative to protect from electric shock, even protecting vandals.