December 02, 2013

Photo Essay: Cabrillo Beach & A Crumbling Concrete Bunker

I love a good pile of rubble.

Over by the Sunken City slide area in San Pedro, it's not surprising to find plenty of stuff that has crumbled down to the beach.

Even the houses that are still up there look as though they're going to come tumbling down any minute.

When walking the Cabrillo Coastal Park trail along Outer Cabrillo Beach towards the tide pools, though, you come across a pile of broken concrete that doesn't look like it's from a house up above.

The large chunks of concrete don't look like they washed ashore from the ocean tide, either.

As you explore the ruins, the palm trees by the marina in the distance... realize this looks distinctly military in nature.

Although big pieces of it have clearly toppled over, there are plenty of sections that still stand, embedded in the bottom of the bluff...

...while other pieces which still stand have separated from the earth, a trail eroded behind it, now free-standing...

...ravaged by graffiti.

Although there are some tags on the front...

...the standing concrete slab has clearly been painted over many times...

...presumably to try to cover up repeated vandalism in the past.

It turns out that these concrete slabs are what remains of a military bunker which the U.S. Army Coast Artillery planned to use in its defense during World War II. They comprise one of five bunkers that were built in 1916, from which floating mines placed out into LA Harbor would be remotely detonated.

The mines never actually went out into the habor, and so the bunkers were built, but never used. They've taken a beating by the ocean waves that come in at high tide, which accounts for the rubble.

What we couldn't figure out was how vandals got past the fixed, rusty grill (which appears to have been there a while) and into the bunker to completely cover its inside walls with graffiti (which looks relatively recent).

It's not surprising, though, to find some military relics in this area, given its proximity to Fort MacArthur in San Pedro, Point Vicente on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and Point Fermin.

Now, of course, Point Fermin is known for its historic lighthouse (which served as a lookout tower for the Navy in WWII) but also for its biodiversity...

...amidst the other-worldly landscape...

...that surrounds the tide pools in the Point Fermin State Marine Park.

At low tide, you can do some rock-hopping to get to small pools...

...where marine life collects in the seawater that becomes trapped in the depressions in the rocks after the tide goes out.

You can find hermit crabs and sea anemones and even maybe a starfish or an urchin...

...and you can poke them gently...

...but you can't collect them as souvenirs.

Instead, watch the sunset and the tide come in, watch your step on the way back out, and beware of debris that may fall from above.

Related Posts:
Photo Essay: San Pedro's Sunken City
Photo Essay: Trespassing Through Southland's Military History
Photo Essay: Murphy Ranch in Rustic Canyon

1 comment:

  1. researching the 'doorway' for many years i have yet to find anything in relations to a military bunker. No mention of it in any of the Ft Mcarthur bunker and battery list nor is there any known photos of its construction or finished work .