Fort Ord: Precedent / Sample Site

Fort Ord: Precedent / Sample Site

  • by Architecture for Humanity
  • Mar 09, 2012
  • comments

Fort Ord, along Monterey Bay in California, shuttered its doors in 1994. Well, not all of them.

After nearly two decades, the former 44 square mile US Army base (roughly the size of San Francisco) has been reassigned to several new roles, but not nearly all the former military land and structures have been given new life. By 2012, the divisions between functions, active and passive, come to prominence. From area residents to businesses, state schools and municipal government, everyone sees potential for the property, though intentions come into conflict.

Architecture for Humanity's [Un]Restricted Access Challengers may have something to contribute to the conversation.

1. CSUMB - The farthest along and least controversial conversion was the creation of a new California State University campus for Monterey Bay. The master plan is far from fully executed. A Saturday stroll revealed an eerily abandoned campus, though a concert at the black box theater (converted military building) the previous night made a lively introduction to the base.

New and old buildings mingle on the university campus

The Black Box Cabaret

The Black Box Cabaret during a show. Nice space conversion, terrible photography :p

2. Back End of Campus - Here the programming gets a little ambiguous. Aside from the solar farm.

3. Plans for new Transit Center - A controversial plan to install a transit center and bus yard in a stand of mature trees and foot and horse trails has stirred several activist groups to opposition. Other parts of Fort Ord have been sold to develop residential and shopping districts for nearby towns.

Posted for the development of Whispering Oaks

Other parts of fort infrastructure have no apparent practical reuse

5. East Garrison - One-time quarters for Fort residents, this village is undergoing heavy redevelopment, save for a few esteemed pieces of architecture.

6. New Fortification - The Department of the Interior has organized student groups to plant Valley Oaks in the vast still-wild recreational lands of the old Fort.

The DOI has taken every precaution to ensure the survival of these saplings

7. Impossible Cities - Of course, what was once a military site probably has some REALLY secret parcels lying around...