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Harbor Entrance Control Post

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1943. Beavertail Point

Like other camouflaged military installations along the Rhode Island coast (many now gone), this World War II military installation is a heavily reinforced concrete structure in colonial shingle disguise. Its domestic exterior concealed radar, radio, and visual observation equipment, underwater sound detection devices, and searchlights to coordinate and control all traffic entering and leaving Narragansett Bay, together with living quarters for its personnel. Until the early 1970s, a radar cage existed nearby. A cylindrical lattice of diagonal wire suspended between two masts, it was nearly as large as a municipal gas tank. By turn eerie, evanescent, and impressive, it may have been the most haunting monument erected in the state during World War II. From this hightech antiquity, the imagination readily drifted to the ropes and wires of masts and sails, both challenging the eye as gossamer geometries against changing skies and weather.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Harbor Entrance Control Post", [Jamestown, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Rhode Island, William H. Jordy, with Ronald J. Onorato and William McKenzie Woodward. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, 594-594.

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