These are the bunkers and related structures of war in the Marin headlands. Crumbling souvenirs of battles that never were…or that were waged elsewhere. These seacoast fortifications ultimately were built to defend us from wars that never quite arrived on our shores.
Soldiers sat here waiting for the enemy to appear on the horizon, waiting to receive orders to fire and to be fired upon. No ships arrived however, and the nature of modern warfare rendered the bunkers obsolete.
Now the structures – not the soldiers, sit waiting. Waiting for protection from the environment that is poised to overtake them.
I enjoy military history and architecture. The fortifications around the Bay Area constitute one of the best and most extensive museums of military architecture to be found in North America. I decided to focus my attention on the structures in the Marin Headlands.
The bunkers date from the Mexican–American War all the way up to the Cold War. These structures and the area that surrounds them are being broken apart by the process of erosion and seismic activity – both of which are gradually ripping them from the hillsides. Many cannot be seen because nature has completely taken over in some instances. Damage done by Vandalism and graffiti is also a major factor in their defacement.
The whole process of these sites falling into disrepair is fascinating to me because of the irony that it represents. Soldiers who were there to protect our country sat in these bunkers waiting for the enemy to appear on the horizon, waiting to receive orders to fire on those ships and expected to be fired upon. No ships arrived and the nature of modern warfare rendered the bunkers obsolete.
Now, nothing is being done to protect these structures – and it is sad to be losing them to neglect.