Fort Brooke Military Reservation

The Fort Brooke Military Reservation is located in San Juan, Puerto Rico and consists of the Spanish-built El Morro and San Cristobal Fortresses.  The Spanish began construction of the fortresses during the 16th century.  El Morro was designed to protect San Juan from sea-based attacks.  San Cristobal was built to guard the city from land-based attacks.

The government first obtained the land for Fort Brooke Military Reservation from the Spanish by the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898, following the Spanish-American War.  On June 30, 1903, an Executive Order reserved a 98.83-acre area that included the El Morro and San Cristobal Fortresses and associated works and improvements for military purposes.  Additionaly property was acquired between 1906 and 1951, totaling the site to approximately 115 acres where extensive housing and support buildings were constructed on-site through World War II.  During World War I and II, the military mounted three 4.72-inch guns and a gun emplacement with four 155-mm guns, along with improvements to the fortresses which included the addition of bunkers and pillboxes (concrete guard posts).  Munitions used or stored on-site included 4.7-inch ammunition and early 1900s Coast Artillery ammunition.  The artillery range consisted of approximately 86,000 water acres.

The land was determined to no longer be needed by the military, and between 1941 and 1978 it was turned over to the National Park Service, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the Coast Guard as park facilities, public buildings, and government offices.  The National Park Service manages the majority of the land portions of Fort Brooke as the San Juan National Historic Site.


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