The Fort MacArthur Museum at Angels Gate Park in San Pedro

From 1897 to 1910, tracts of land supplemented an original Spanish public landing in preparation for the construction of fortifications to guard the newly completed deep water harbor facilities of the port for the city of Los Angeles. By 1914, the year Wold War One broke out in Europe, groundbreaking began and by the end of the war final construction was being completed.

The Fort MacArthur Museum is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the history of Fort MacArthur, a U.S. Army post which guarded the Los Angeles harbor from 1914 to 1974. The Museum was established in 1985, and it is housed in the corridors and galleries of historic Battery Osgood-Farley. The Fort MacArthur Reservations hold an important collection of historical structures which were part of the U.S. Army’s role in the defense of the American continental coastline from invasion. These structures clearly trace the development of American coastal defenses, from the all-big-gun era of the turn of the century to the missile era of today.

The rooms, galleries and corridors of the Museum contain a variety of exhibits and displays which include: the history of Los Angeles harbor defenses, home-front activities in the greater Los Angeles area during the World Wars, Civil Defense, American Pacific Theater military campaigns, early American Air Defenses and the important role of Los Angeles as a military port for both the Army and the Navy. The museum’s curator claims they hold the largest collection of artifacts from World War One in California.

Fort MacArthur’s 94 years as an Army installation came to an end in 1982 when the Middle Reservation was transferred to the Air Force for use as a housing and administration facility supporting the Los Angeles Air Force Base. Today Fort MacArthur continues to serve the United States in that capacity. Each summer, the museum sponsors the very popular Old Fort MacArthur Days. Contact the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks at (301) 548-2631 for more information, or visit their website at