Battery Chamberlin Sea Coast Disappearing Gun

Upon inspecting the last six-inch “disappearing gun” of its type on the west coast, a project team of specialists led by ARG Conservation Services recoiled at the corrosion of the substrate metal, leading to treatment recommendations that specified a new coating system from Tnemec. “The treatment included removal of corrosion and cleaning to bare white metal to enable better adhesion for a new protective coating,” stated the Conservation Treatment Report prepared by ARG. “New coatings were applied that followed recommended coating specifications designed for the harsh marine environment.”

ARG Conservation Services is a licensed general contractor that specializes in conservation field projects. Prior to recoating, samples of paint from the gun were tested and the presence of lead was confirmed. “The area surrounding the gun was cordoned off with temporary chain link construction fencing,” according to the ARG report. “The lead abatement firm constructed a containment structure using scaffolding and plastic sheeting around the gun and inside the secured construction fence.”

“Of paramount importance was resistance to salt-laden air,” Tnemec coating consultant Glen Amos added. “Abrasion resistance and long-term color retention were also key design criteria. Amos and Associates has had an excellent relationship with ARG in San Francisco going back nearly 20 years. The highest compliment an architect can give to a manufacturer is to specify that manufacturer’s products. We take that trust very seriously.”

The disappearing gun located at Battery Chamberlin, Baker Beach in San Francisco is designed to retract into a protected bunker after firing. This provided concealment from the enemy while the gun was being reloaded, but disappearing guns became obsolete after the end of World War II. The 50-ton rifle and its disappearing carriage were donated by the Smithsonian Institute to the National Park Service in the late 1970s. Demonstrations of the gun are conducted on the first weekend of each month.

    Project Information

    Location
    San Francisco, CA

    Completion
    June 2009

    Owner
    Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco, CA

    Architect
    ARG Conservation Services, San Francisco, CA

    Field Applicator
    Cal inc., Vacaville, California

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