As tens of thousands of motorists scamper across the Bay Bridge every day—or sometimes crawl—a forgotten mansion rests just below them. The three-story white house, which cannot be seen from the bridge, was once the final residence of America’s greatest modern admiral. And for a time it was the historic obstacle to the new span of the Bay Bridge.
Quarters 1 was built in 1900 on Yerba Buena Island as part of the US Navy’s only training station on the West Coast. It was the home of the base commander and was opulently designed to match. Large windows framed an expansive view of the bay and the East Bay hills beyond, and filled the elegant foyer with light. In an area of almost 6,000 square meters there were numerous bedrooms and bathrooms as well as a study.