Commanding OfficersName: Commanding Officer's Quarters
Year Built: circa 1904
Location: Pershing Street
Area: Fort Worden State Park

Fort Worden (1886-1953) is an example of West Coast turn-of-the-century military construction. It was built to secure the entrance to Puget Sound. The architectural style is similar to Jefferson Classicism. The appearance of the fort has remained fairly constant since the early 1900s. The fort was the headquarters of the Harbor Defense of Puget Sound, but a shot was never fired in anger. The fort was deactivated in 1955 as a military installation, and since 1973 it has become one of the crown jewels of the State Parks system; its buildings are available as conference facilities and recreation housing. The fort is on the historic register and also functions as the home of Centrum Foundation, a nonprofit organization for the arts and creative education, which presents concerts, festivals, workshops, and special performances throughout the year.

Officer's HouseThe first fort constructed on the location (in 1855) was named Fort Wilson, and was intended to protect Port Townsend from the Indians. It was abandoned in 1856 when hostilities between white settlers and Indians ended. The fort was reopened in 1900 and renamed in honor of Admiral John L. Worden, commander of the battleship, Monitor. Fort Worden is the only army fort to be named after a naval officer.

The Commanding Officer's quarters, completed in 1904, stands on a choice location at the end of "Officer's Row," overlooking Admiralty Inlet and Point Wilson. During its military service it provided housing for 33 commanding officers and their families. The Commanding Officer's Quarters has been completely restored and furnished in the Victorian style, with furnishings chosen by the Port Townsend Heritage Group. Special features of the house include the cross-gabled slate roof with its chimneys and decorated box cornices, hardwood floors, three fireplaces, copper sink, and brass chandelier. The nearly 6000 square foot house also has 10-foot high pressed ceilings.

The volunteers have restored and decorated the interior to reflect the life of the Commanding Officer's family in the period between 1830 and 1910.

See also: Commanding Officer's Quarters Museum

Data modified from the National Register of Historic Places, the former Victorian Festival Heritage Home Tour, property owners and other sources. All material copyrighted by PTguide.com.

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