Presidio of San Francisco
The Presidio of San Francisco (originally, El Presidio Real de San Francisco or Royal Presidio of San Francisco) is a park on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula
San Francisco Peninsula
The San Francisco Peninsula is a peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area that separates the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. On its northern tip is the City and County of San Francisco. Its southern base is in Santa Clara County, including the cities of Palo Alto, Los Altos, and Mountain...

 in San Francisco, California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is a U.S. National Recreation Area administered by the National Park Service that surrounds the San Francisco Bay area. It is one of the most visited units of the National Park system in the United States, with over 13 million visitors a year...

. It has been a fortified location since September 17th, 1776 when New Spain
New Spain
New Spain, formally called the Viceroyalty of New Spain , was a viceroyalty of the Spanish colonial empire, comprising primarily territories in what was known then as 'América Septentrional' or North America. Its capital was Mexico City, formerly Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Empire...

 made it the military center of their colonization
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

 of the area. It passed to Mexico, which in turn passed it to the United States in 1848. As part of a military reduction program, Congress voted in 1989 to end the Presidio's status as an active military installation and on October 1, 1994, it was transferred to the National Park Service, ending 219 years of military use and beginning its next phase of mixed commercial and public use. In 1996, the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 created the Presidio Trust to oversee and manage the interior 80% of the park's lands, with the National Park Service managing the coastal 20%. In a first-of-its-kind structure, Congress mandated that the Presidio Trust make the Presidio financially self-sufficient by 2013, which it achieved 8 years early.

The park is characterized by many wooded areas, hills, and scenic vistas overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. As part of both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1, the structure links the city of San Francisco, on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, to...

, San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay is a shallow, productive estuary through which water draining from approximately forty percent of California, flowing in the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers from the Sierra Nevada mountains, enters the Pacific Ocean...

 and the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

. It was recognized as a National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

 in 1962.

Presidio Visitor Centers

The visitor centers are operated by the National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

  • Presidio Visitor Center — offers changing exhibits about the Presidio, information about activities and sights in the park and books.
  • Battery Chamberlin
    Battery Chamberlin
    Battery Chamberlin is an artillery battery in the Presidio of San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States. The battery is named in honor of Captain Lowell A...

    — seacoast defense museum and artillery display at Baker Beach
    Baker Beach
    Baker Beach is a public beach on the peninsula of San Francisco, California, U.S.. The beach lies on the shore of the Pacific Ocean to the northwest of the city...

     built in 1904
  • Fort Point — 1861 brick and granite fortification located under the Golden Gate Bridge. The visitor center, open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, offers a video orientations, guided tours, self-guiding materials, exhibits, and books for sale.
  • Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary
    Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary
    The Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary is one of 13 marine sanctuaries in the U.S., found outside San Francisco's Golden Gate surrounding the Gulf of the Farallones-History:...

     Visitor Center
    — This center offers hands-on marine life exhibits, and is located in a historic Coast Guard Station at the west end of Crissy Field. The building was used by the Coast Guard from 1890 to 1990.

Crissy Field Center

Crissy Field Center is an urban
Urban area
An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.Urban areas are created and further...

 environmental education
Environmental education
Environmental education refers to organized efforts to teach about how natural environments function and, particularly, how human beings can manage their behavior and ecosystems in order to live sustainably. The term is often used to imply education within the school system, from primary to...

 center with many programs for schools, public workshops, after school programs, summer camps, and more. The Center overlooks a restored tidal marsh
Tidal marsh
A tidal marsh is a type of marsh that is found along coasts and estuaries of which the flooding characteristics are determined by the tidal movement of the adjacent estuary, sea or ocean . According to the salinity of the flooding water, freshwater, brackish and saline tidal marshes are...

, and the facilities include interactive environmental exhibits, a media lab, resource library, arts workshop, science lab, gathering room, teaching kitchen, café and bookstore is operated by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
Established in 1981, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy is the nonprofit partner that supports and assists the Golden Gate National Parks in research, interpretation, and conservation programs....



The Presidio was originally a Spanish
Spanish colonization of the Americas
Colonial expansion under the Spanish Empire was initiated by the Spanish conquistadores and developed by the Monarchy of Spain through its administrators and missionaries. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Christian faith through indigenous conversions...

 Fort sited by Juan Bautista de Anza
Juan Bautista de Anza
Juan Bautista de Anza Bezerra Nieto was a Novo-Spanish explorer and Governor of New Mexico for the Spanish Empire.-Early life:...

 on March 28, 1776, built by a party led by José Joaquín Moraga
José Joaquín Moraga
José Joaquín de la Santísima Trinidad Moraga was an early explorer to Alta California...

 later that year. In 1783, the Presidio's garrison numbered only 33 men.

The Presidio was seized by the U.S. Military in 1846, at the start of the Mexican-American war. It officially opened in 1848, and became home to several Army headquarters and units, the last being the United States 6th Army. Several famous U.S. generals, such as William Sherman, George Henry Thomas
George Henry Thomas
George Henry Thomas was a career United States Army officer and a Union General during the American Civil War, one of the principal commanders in the Western Theater....

, and John Pershing made their homes here.

During its long history, the Presidio was involved in most of America's military engagements in the Pacific. Importantly, it was the assembly point for Army forces that invaded the Philippines in the Spanish-American War, America's first major military engagement in the Asia/Pacific region.

The Presidio was the center for defense of the Western U.S. during World War II. The infamous order to intern Japanese-Americans
Japanese American internment
Japanese-American internment was the relocation and internment by the United States government in 1942 of approximately 110,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese who lived along the Pacific coast of the United States to camps called "War Relocation Camps," in the wake of Imperial Japan's attack on...

, including citizens, during World War II was signed at the Presidio. Until its closure in 1995, the Presidio was the longest continuously operated military base in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...


From the 1890s, the Presidio was home to the Letterman Army Medical Center
Letterman Army Hospital
The Letterman Army Hospital was located on the Presidio of San Francisco and was established around 1898.- History :The hospital, built in 1898 and named in 1911 for Jonathan Letterman, was featured in every US foreign conflict in the 20th century and remained in service until the army base was...

 (LAMC), which was named, in 1911, for Jonathan Letterman
Jonathan Letterman
Jonathan Letterman was an American surgeon credited as being the originator of the modern methods for medical organization in armies. Dr...

, the medical director of the Army of the Potomac
Army of the Potomac
The Army of the Potomac was the major Union Army in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War.-History:The Army of the Potomac was created in 1861, but was then only the size of a corps . Its nucleus was called the Army of Northeastern Virginia, under Brig. Gen...

 (Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

). LAMC featured in every US foreign conflict during the 20th century by treating thousands of war wounded with high quality medical care.

Part of the Presidio contains one of the last two remaining cemeteries in city limits, the The San Francisco National Cemetery
San Francisco National Cemetery
San Francisco National Cemetery is a U.S. National Cemetery, located in the Presidio of San Francisco, California. Because of the name and location, it is frequently confused with Golden Gate National Cemetery, a few miles south of the city....

. Among the military personnel interred is General Fedreick Funston, hero of the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

, Philippine-American War
Philippine-American War
The Philippine–American War, also known as the Philippine War of Independence or the Philippine Insurrection , was an armed conflict between a group of Filipino revolutionaries and the United States which arose from the struggle of the First Philippine Republic to gain independence following...

, and was the commanding officer of the Presidio when the 1906 Earthquake
1906 San Francisco earthquake
The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 was a major earthquake that struck San Francisco, California, and the coast of Northern California at 5:12 a.m. on Wednesday, April 18, 1906. The most widely accepted estimate for the magnitude of the earthquake is a moment magnitude of 7.9; however, other...

 hit San Francisco; General Irvin McDowell
Irvin McDowell
Irvin McDowell was a career American army officer. He is best known for his defeat in the First Battle of Bull Run, the first large-scale battle of the American Civil War.-Early life:...

 who commanded the Union Army in the early days of the American Civil War and was defeated by the Confederates in the first major battle of Bull Run
First Battle of Bull Run
First Battle of Bull Run, also known as First Manassas , was fought on July 21, 1861, in Prince William County, Virginia, near the City of Manassas...

 (or Manassas). After he retired, he moved to California and died in 1885 of a heart attack.

The Marine Hospital operated a cemetery for merchant seamen approximately 100-250 yards away from the hospital property. Based on city municipal records, historians estimate that the cemetery was in use from 1885 to 1912. As part of the “Trails Forever” initiative, the Parks Conservancy, the National Park Service and the Presidio Trust are partnering to build a walking trail along the south side of the site, featuring interpretive signage about its history.

The Presidio also has four creeks, that are currently being restored by park stewards and volunteers to expand the former extents of their riparian habitats. The creeks are Lobos
Lobos Creek
Lobos Creek is a stream in Presidio of San Francisco in San Francisco, California.-Overview:It runs from runoff in the Presidio and Seacliff areas and underground seepage from springs that form Mountain Lake to the Pacific Ocean marking the division between Baker Beach and China Beach...

 and Dragonfly
Dragonfly Creek
Dragonfly Creek is a stream in the Presidio of San Francisco, California. Predominantly buried in underground culverts, the creek flows through a valley beneath stables and empties into Crissy Marsh in the bay. As part of the Doyle Drive construction project, the stream will be extensively restored....

 creeks, El Polin Spring
El Polin Spring
El Polin Spring is a stream in San Francisco, California located in The Presidio....

, and Coyote Gulch
Coyote Gulch (California)
Coyote Gulch is a stream in San Francisco, California. It is one of the last remaining free flowing, unculverted creeks in San Francisco. It runs from the foothills of the Presidio to the Pacific Ocean....



  • 1776 — Spanish Captain Juan Bautista de Anza led 193 soldiers, women, and children on a trek from present day Tubac, Arizona
    Tubac, Arizona
    Tubac is a census-designated place in Santa Cruz County, Arizona, United States. The population was 949 at the 2000 census. The place name Tubac is an English borrowing from a Hispanicized form of the O'odham name, which translates into English as "rotten". The original O'odham name is written...

    , to San Francisco Bay.

  • September 17 (1776?) — The Presidio began as a Spanish garrison
    Garrison is the collective term for a body of troops stationed in a particular location, originally to guard it, but now often simply using it as a home base....

     to defend Spain’s claim to San Francisco Bay and to support Mission Dolores; it was the northernmost outpost of New Spain
    New Spain
    New Spain, formally called the Viceroyalty of New Spain , was a viceroyalty of the Spanish colonial empire, comprising primarily territories in what was known then as 'América Septentrional' or North America. Its capital was Mexico City, formerly Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Empire...

     in the declining Spanish Empire
    Spanish Empire
    The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....


  • 1794 — Castillo de San Joaquin, an artillery
    Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

     emplacement was built above present-day Fort Point, San Francisco, complete with iron or bronze cannon
    A cannon is any piece of artillery that uses gunpowder or other usually explosive-based propellents to launch a projectile. Cannon vary in caliber, range, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire, and firepower; different forms of cannon combine and balance these attributes in varying degrees,...

    . Six cannon may be seen in the Presidio today.

  • 1776–1821 — The Presidio was a simple fort made of adobe, brush and wood. It often was damaged by earthquakes or heavy rains. In 1783, its company was only 33 men. Presidio soldiers’ duties were to support Mission Dolores by controlling Indian workers in the Mission, and also farming, ranching, and hunting in order to supply themselves and their families. Support from Spanish authorities in Mexico was very limited.

  • 1821 — Mexico became independent of Spain. The Presidio received even less support from Mexico. Residents of Alta California, which include the Presidio, debated separating entirely from Mexico.

  • 1827, January — Minor earthquake in San Francisco, some buildings were damaged extensively.

  • 1835 — The Presidio garrison, led by Mariano Vallejo, relocated to Sonoma
    Presidio of Sonoma
    El Presidio de Sonoma, or Sonoma Barracks, was a military outpost established in Alta California in 1836. It was built to house troops under General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, the Commandant of the Northern Frontier, as part of Mexico's strategy to subdue the Native Americans of the Sonoma Valley...

    . A small detachment remained at the Presidio, which was in decline.

  • 1846 — American settlers and adventurers in Sonoma revolted against Mexican rule. Mariano Vallejo was imprisoned for a brief time. (Bear Flag Revolt) Lieutenant John C. Fremont
    John C. Frémont
    John Charles Frémont , was an American military officer, explorer, and the first candidate of the anti-slavery Republican Party for the office of President of the United States. During the 1840s, that era's penny press accorded Frémont the sobriquet The Pathfinder...

    , a U.S. Army officer, with a small detachment of soldiers and frontiersmen crossed the Golden Gate
    Golden Gate
    The Golden Gate is the North American strait connecting San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. Since 1937 it has been spanned by the Golden Gate Bridge...

     in a boat to “capture” the Presidio against no resistance. A cannon that was “spiked” by Fremont remains on the Presidio today.

  • 1846–1848 — The U.S. Army occupied the Presidio. The Presidio began a long era directing operations to control and protect Native Americans as headquarters for scattered Army units on the West Coast.

  • 1853 — Work was begun on Fort Point, which became a fine example of coastal defenses of its time. Fort Point, located at the foot of the Golden Gate in the Presidio, was the keystone of an elaborate network of fortifications to defend San Francisco Bay. These fortifications now reflect 150 years of military concern for defense of the West Coast.

  • 1861–1865 — The American Civil War involved the Presidio. Colonel Albert Sydney Johnston protected Union weapons from being taken by Southern sympathizers in San Francisco. Later, he resigned from the Union Army and become a general in the Confederate Army. He was killed at the Battle of Shiloh
    Battle of Shiloh
    The Battle of Shiloh, also known as the Battle of Pittsburg Landing, was a major battle in the Western Theater of the American Civil War, fought April 6–7, 1862, in southwestern Tennessee. A Union army under Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant had moved via the Tennessee River deep into Tennessee and...

    . The Presidio organized regiments of volunteers for the Civil War and to control Indians in California and Oregon
    Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

     during the absence of federal troops.

  • 1869–1870 — Major General George Henry Thomas, who was an American Civil War hero, led the Division of the Pacific. General Thomas died in 1870 and was buried in Troy, New York
    Troy, New York
    Troy is a city in the US State of New York and the seat of Rensselaer County. Troy is located on the western edge of Rensselaer County and on the eastern bank of the Hudson River. Troy has close ties to the nearby cities of Albany and Schenectady, forming a region popularly called the Capital...


  • 1872–1873 — Modoc Indian Campaign
    Modoc War
    The Modoc War, or Modoc Campaign , was an armed conflict between the Native American Modoc tribe and the United States Army in southern Oregon and northern California from 1872–1873. The Modoc War was the last of the Indian Wars to occur in California or Oregon...

     (Lava Beds War) involved some Presidio troops and command in this major battle, the last large scale U.S. Army operation against Native Americans in the Far West.

  • 1890–1914 — Presidio soldiers became the nation’s first “park rangers” by patrolling the new Yosemite and Sequoia
    Sequoia National Park
    Sequoia National Park is a national park in the southern Sierra Nevada east of Visalia, California, in the United States. It was established on September 25, 1890. The park spans . Encompassing a vertical relief of nearly , the park contains among its natural resources the highest point in the...

     National Parks.

  • 1898–1906 — The Presidio became the nation’s center for assembling, training, and shipping out forces to the Spanish-American War in the Philippine Islands and the subsequent Philippine-American War (Philippine Insurrection). Letterman Army Hospital was modernized and expanded to care for the many wounded and seriously ill soldiers from these campaigns. The Philippine campaign was an early major U.S. military intervention in the Asia/Pacific region. The Presidio repeated this role as a launching point for forces or a receiving point for war wounded in later interventions and World War II
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

     in Asia as well as the Vietnam War
    Vietnam War
    The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

     and the Korean War
    Korean War
    The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...


  • 1903–President Theodore Roosevelt
    Theodore Roosevelt
    Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

     visited the Presidio. His honor guard was from the African American
    African American
    African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

     “Buffalo Soldier
    Buffalo Soldier
    Buffalo Soldiers originally were members of the U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army, formed on September 21, 1866 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas....

    ” 10th Cavalry Regiment, then at the Presidio. This regiment took a role in Roosevelt’s famous charge of San Juan Hill in Cuba
    The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...


  • 1906 — The San Francisco Earthquake of April, 1906, led to an immediate Army response directed by General Frederick Funston
    Frederick Funston
    Frederick N. Funston also known as Fred Funston, was a General in the United States Army, best known for his role in the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War...

    , who had earned the Medal of Honor
    Medal of Honor
    The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is bestowed by the President, in the name of Congress, upon members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her...

     for his bravery in the Philippines. Army units provided security and fought fires at the direction of the city government. After the fire that resulted from the earthquake, Presidio soldiers gave aid, food, and shelter to refugees. Temporary camps for refugees were set up on the Presidio.

  • 1912 — Fort Winfield Scott was established in the western part of the Presidio as a coast artillery post and the headquarters of the Artillery District of San Francisco.

  • 1914–1916 — The Presidio Commander, General John J. Pershing
    John J. Pershing
    John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing, GCB , was a general officer in the United States Army who led the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I...

     commanded the Mexican Punitive Expedition to eliminate the threat of Pancho Villa
    Pancho Villa
    José Doroteo Arango Arámbula – better known by his pseudonym Francisco Villa or its hypocorism Pancho Villa – was one of the most prominent Mexican Revolutionary generals....

    , a Mexican rebel and bandit, who conducted raids across the U.S. border. General Pershing’s family died in a tragic fire while he was away. As a result of the tragic 1915 fire in General Pershing's quarters, the Presidio Fire Department
    Presidio Fire Department
    Established in 1917, the Presidio Fire Department provided primary emergency response to the Presidio of San Francisco.During the 1940s, '50s and '60s the Presidio's Firehouse served as the headquarters station to a much larger department consisting of many Stations located at the various forts...

     was established as the first fire station staffed 24 hours per day on a military post.

  • 1915 — Part of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition was located on the Presidio waterfront, which was expanded by landfill for the purpose. Soldiers supported the Exposition with parades, honor guards, and artillery demonstrations. The Exposition was to celebrate opening of the Panama Canal
    Panama Canal
    The Panama Canal is a ship canal in Panama that joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. Built from 1904 to 1914, the canal has seen annual traffic rise from about 1,000 ships early on to 14,702 vessels measuring a total of 309.6...


  • 1917–1918 — The Presidio rapidly expanded with new cantonments and training areas for World War I. Recruiting, training, and deploying units again become the Presidio’s role. An officers training camp was located here. The waterfront area was covered by quickly assembled buildings and the railroad track into the Presidio was busy with wartime traffic. During the war, the 30th Infantry Regiment
    30th Infantry Regiment (United States)
    The 30th Infantry Regiment is a United States Army infantry regiment.-Lineage:*Constituted 2 February 1901 in the Regular Army as the 30th Infantry...

    , “San Francisco’s Own,” whose motto, "OUR COUNTRY NOT OURSELVES," fought with distinction in World War I as a key fighting element of the 3rd Infantry Division who earned the title “Rock of the Marne.” The 30th Infantry Regiment frequently was based at the Presidio.

  • 1918–1920 — The Presidio was the center for forming and training the American Expeditionary Force Siberia
    American Expeditionary Force Siberia
    The American Expeditionary Force Siberia was a United States Army force that was involved in the Russian Civil War in Vladivostok, Russian Empire, during the tail end of World War I after the October Revolution, from 1918 to 1920....

    . This was a little-remembered force that moved into Siberia during the Russian Civil War
    Russian Civil War
    The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

    . The mission of this force changed often. It encountered hostility from another part of the Expeditionary Force, Japan, while fighting bandits, and protecting Allied civilians.

  • 1920–1932 — The Presidio became home to Crissy Field
    Crissy Field
    Crissy Field is a former airfield, now a part of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in San Francisco, California, United States. Historically a part of the Presidio of San Francisco, Crissy Field was closed as an airfield and eventually the National Park Service took control over it...

    , the major pioneering military aviation
    Military aviation
    Military aviation is the use of aircraft and other flying machines for the purposes of conducting or enabling warfare, including national airlift capacity to provide logistical supply to forces stationed in a theater or along a front. Air power includes the national means of conducting such...

     field located on the West Coast. Trailbreaking transpacific and transcontinental flights occurred here.. At Crissy, future General “Hap” Arnold developed techniques for the new military aviation.. Arnold later commanded the Army Air Corps
    United States Army Air Corps
    The United States Army Air Corps was a forerunner of the United States Air Force. Renamed from the Air Service on 2 July 1926, it was part of the United States Army and the predecessor of the United States Army Air Forces , established in 1941...

     in World War II.

  • 1941–1946 — World War II saw intense activity at the Presidio. It continued as a coordinating headquarters, deployment center, and training site, as it was for most of its existence. The Western Defense Command was responsible for the defense of the West Coast. For a time this included supervising combat in the Aleutian Islands. The Presidio again was crowded with temporary barracks and training facilities. Letterman Army Hospital was filled with casualties. At one point, entire trains filled with war wounded arrived at the Presidio from the battles of Okinawa and Iwo Jima
    Iwo Jima
    Iwo Jima, officially , is an island of the Japanese Volcano Islands chain, which lie south of the Ogasawara Islands and together with them form the Ogasawara Archipelago. The island is located south of mainland Tokyo and administered as part of Ogasawara, one of eight villages of Tokyo...

    . A Japanese Language School was set up to train Japanese-Americans to be interpreters in the war against Japan. Ironically, some of these soldiers had their families interned in camps for the rest of the war, while they performed bravely in the Pacific.

  • 1941–1945 — The Commanding General of the Western Defense Command
    Western Defense Command
    Western Defense Command was established on 17 March 1941 as the command formation of the U.S. Army responsible for coordinating the defense of the Pacific Coast region of the United States. A second major responsibility was the training of soldiers prior to their deployment overseas. The first...

    , General John L. DeWitt
    John L. DeWitt
    John Lesesne DeWitt was a general in the United States Army, best known for his vocal support of the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II....

    , responded to public hysteria directed against all Japanese on the West Coast. He recommended removing all Japanese, including citizens, from the Western Seaboard. The Federal Bureau of Investigation
    Federal Bureau of Investigation
    The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

     and some Western politicians also expressed alarm, although no incidents of sabotage occurred. President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, to direct removal of ethnic Japanese residents to internment
    Internment is the imprisonment or confinement of people, commonly in large groups, without trial. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the meaning as: "The action of 'interning'; confinement within the limits of a country or place." Most modern usage is about individuals, and there is a distinction...


  • 1946 — After World War II, the Presidio command was redesignated the Sixth U.S. Army. It was responsible, again, for Army forces in the Western U.S., training, supplies, and deployment. It also was the federal agency to coordinate disaster relief by the military. During this year, President Harry Truman had offered the Presidio as the site for the future United Nations Headquarters
    United Nations headquarters
    The headquarters of the United Nations is a complex in New York City. The complex has served as the official headquarters of the United Nations since its completion in 1952. It is located in the Turtle Bay neighborhood of Manhattan, on spacious grounds overlooking the East River...

    . A United Nations Committee visited the Presidio for the purpose of examining its suitability for the site, but the UN General Assembly ultimately voted in favor of its current New York City location instead.

  • 1950–1953 — The Korean War again tasked the Presidio’s headquarters and support functions. Again, Letterman Army Hospital was mobilized to care for casualties from the war.

  • 1951 — The Presidio hosted ceremonies for signing the ANZUS Treaty, a security pact of Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

    , New Zealand
    New Zealand
    New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

    , and the U.S. The Japan-US security treaty was signed at the Presidio, while the Japanese Peace Treaty was signed in downtown San Francisco. These events again showed the Presidio’s role in America’s growing involvement in Asia and the Pacific.

  • 1961–1973 — The Presidio filled a supporting role in the Vietnam War. Antiwar demonstrations took place at the Presidio’s gates. A mutiny occurred at the Presidio stockade prison.

  • 1968 — Richard Bunch shot, initiating the Presidio Mutiny
    Presidio mutiny
    The Presidio mutiny was a sit-down protest carried out by 27 prisoners at the Presidio stockade in San Francisco, California on October 14, 1968. The stiff sentences given out at courts martial for the participants attracted attention to the extent of sentiment against the Vietnam War in the armed...


  • 1969–1974 — Letterman Army Hospital (LAMC) was modernized and Letterman Army Institute of Research (LAIR) was built.

  • 1991 — The Presidio sent its few remaining units to war for the last time in Desert Storm, the First Gulf War. The role of Sixth Army was management of training and coordinating deployment of National Guard and Reserve units in the Western U.S. for Desert Storm.

  • 1994 — Sixth Army was inactivated. The Presidio was transferred to the National Park Service.

  • 1996 — Park becomes privatized through congressional action.

  • 2001 — Letterman Army Hospital was demolished. Later, the Letterman Digital Arts Center
    Letterman Digital Arts Center
    The Letterman Digital Arts Center , located in the Presidio, San Francisco, is the combined home of Industrial Light & Magic, LucasArts, and Lucasfilm's marketing, online, and licensing units....

     was constructed on the site.

  • 2005 — The Bay School of San Francisco
    The Bay School of San Francisco
    The Bay School of San Francisco is an independent, coeducational, college preparatory high school that opened in 2004. The school moved into its current location in the Presidio of San Francisco in 2005...

     opens in Building 35.

  • 2009 — Demolition of the Doyle Drive viaduct which is to be replaced with a 8 lane boulevard and Tunnel under Crissy Field. Costing $
    United States dollar
    The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

    1 billion, it is scheduled to be completed by 2013.


After a hard-fought battle, the Presidio averted being sold at auction and came under the management of the Presidio Trust, a US Government Corporation established by an act of Congress in 1996.

The Presidio Trust now manages most of the park in partnership with the National Park Service. The Trust has jurisdiction over the interior 80 percent of the Presidio, including nearly all of its historic structures. The National Park Service manages coastal areas. Primary law enforcement throughout the Presidio is the jurisdiction of the United States Park Police.

One of main objectives of Presidio Trust’s program was achieving financial self-sufficiency by fiscal year 2013. Thanks to rents from residential and commercial tenants, this happened well ahead of schedule, in 2006. Immediately after its inception, the Trust began preparing rehabilitation plans for the park. Many areas had to be decontaminated before they could be prepared for public use.

The Presidio Trust Act calls for "preservation of the cultural and historic integrity of the Presidio for public use." The Act also requires that the Presidio Trust be financially self-sufficient by 2013. These imperatives have resulted in numerous conflicts between the need to maximize income by leasing historic buildings, and permitting public use despite most structures being rented privately. Further differences have arisen from the divergent needs of preserving the integrity of the National Historic Landmark District in the face of new construction, competing pressures for natural habitat restoration, and requirements for commercial purposes that impede public access. As of 2007, there was only a rudimentary visitors' center to orient visitors to the Presidio's history.

Crissy Field, a former airfield, has undergone extensive restoration and now serves as very popular recreational area. It borders on the San Francisco Marina in the East and on the Golden Gate Bridge in the West.
The park has a large network of buildings (~ 800), many of them historical. By 2004, about 50% of the buildings on park grounds have been restored and (partially) remodeled. The Trust has contracted commercial real estate management companies to help attract and retain residential and commercial tenants. The total capacity is estimated at 5,000 residents when all buildings have been rehabilitated. Among the Presidio's residents is The Bay School of San Francisco
The Bay School of San Francisco
The Bay School of San Francisco is an independent, coeducational, college preparatory high school that opened in 2004. The school moved into its current location in the Presidio of San Francisco in 2005...

, a private coeducational college preparatory school located in the central Main Post area. Others include The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation seeks to develop outcome-based projects that will improve the quality of life for future generations. The private foundation focuses upon portfolios of large-scale initiatives and encourages collaboration so as to achieve the most significant and enduring outcomes...

, Tides Foundation, Internet Archive
Internet Archive
The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge". It offers permanent storage and access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, music, moving images, and nearly 3 million public domain books. The Internet Archive...

, the Arion Press
Arion Press
The Arion Press "is considered the nation's leading publisher of fine-press books," according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Founded in San Francisco in 1974, it has published 80-plus limited-edition books, most printed by letterpress, often illustrated with original prints by notable...

, and a museum in the memory of Walt Disney. Many various commercial enterprises also lease buildings on the Presidio, including, recently, Starbucks Coffee. The San Francisco Art Institute
San Francisco Art Institute
San Francisco Art Institute is a school of higher education in contemporary art with the main campus in the Russian Hill district of San Francisco, California. Its graduate center is in the Dogpatch neighborhood. The private, non-profit institution is accredited by WASC and is a member of the...

 maintained a small student housing program in the Presidio's MacArthur neighborhood from 2002 to 2007.

Sections of the Letterman Army Hospital were preserved by the Thoreau Center for Sustainability.

The Presidio of San Francisco is the only U.S. national recreation area with an extensive residential leasing program.

Recent developments

The Trust entered a major agreement with Lucasfilm
Lucasfilm Limited is an American film production company founded by George Lucas in 1971, based in San Francisco, California. Lucas is the company's current chairman and CEO, and Micheline Chau is the president and COO....

 to build a new facility called the Letterman Digital Arts Center (LDAC), which is now the headquarters of Industrial Light and Magic
Industrial Light and Magic
Industrial Light & Magic is an Academy Award-winning motion picture visual effects company that was founded in May 1975 by George Lucas and is owned by Lucasfilm. Lucas created the company when he discovered that the special effects department at 20th Century Fox was shut down after he was given...

 and LucasArts
LucasArts Entertainment Company, LLC is an American video game developer and publisher. The company was once famous for its innovative line of graphic adventure games, the critical and commercial success of which peaked in the mid 1990s...

. The site replaced portions of what was the Letterman Hospital. George Lucas
George Lucas
George Walton Lucas, Jr. is an American film producer, screenwriter, and director, and entrepreneur. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Lucasfilm. He is best known as the creator of the space opera franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones...

 won the development rights for 15 acres (61,000 m²) of the Presidio, in June 1999, after beating out a number of rival plans including a leading proposal by the Shorenstein Company. A $300 million development with nearly 900,000 square feet (84,000 m²) of office space and a 150,000 square foot (14,000 m²) underground parking garage with a capacity of 2,500 employees, LDAC replaced the former ILM and LucasArts headquarters in San Rafael
San Rafael, California
San Rafael is a city and the county seat of Marin County, California, United States. The city is located in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area...

. Lucas Learning Ltd., Lucas Online, and the George Lucas Educational Foundation also reside at the site. Lucas's proposal included plans for a high-tech Presidio museum and a seven acre (28,000 m²) "Great Lawn" that is now open to the public.

In 2007, Donald Fisher
Donald Fisher
Donald George Fisher was an American businessman who founded The Gap clothing stores.-Personal history:...

, founder of the Gap clothing stores and former Board member of the Presidio Trust, announced a plan to build a 100000 square feet (9,290.3 m²) museum tentatively named the Contemporary Art Museum of the Presidio, to house his art collection. Fisher's plan encountered widespread skepticism and even outright hostility amongst San Francisco preservationists, local residents, the National Park Service, the Presidio Trust, and city officials who saw the Presidio site as 'hallowed ground.' Due to such criticism, Fisher withdrew his plans to build the museum in the Presidio and instead donated the art to the San Francisco Modern Art Museum
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is a modern art museum located in San Francisco, California. A nonprofit organization, SFMOMA holds an internationally recognized collection of modern and contemporary art and was the first museum on the West Coast devoted solely to 20th century art...

 before his death in 2009.

As the Doyle Drive viaduct was deemed seismically unsafe and obsolete, in 2008, construction was started on the demolition of Doyle Drive which is to be replaced with a flat, broad-lane highway with a tunnel under a part of Crissy Field, called the Presidio Parkway. The project costs $1Billion USD and is scheduled to be completed by 2013.

The Trust plans to create a promenade that will link the Lombard gate, the new Lucasfilm campus to the Main Post and ultimately to the Golden Gate Bridge. The promenade is part of a trails expansion plan that will add 24 miles (39 km) of new pathways and eight scenic overlooks throughout the park.

In October 2008 artist Andy Goldsworthy
Andy Goldsworthy
Andy Goldsworthy, OBE is a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist producing site-specific sculpture and land art situated in natural and urban settings. He lives and works in Scotland.-Life and career:The son of F...

 constructed a new sculpture "Spire" in the Presidio. It is 100 feet (30.5 m) tall and located near the Arguello Gate. It represented the tree replanting effort that has been underway at the Presidio.

Popular culture

The Presidio has been featured several times in the media of popular culture:
  • In the fictional universe of Star Trek
    Star Trek
    Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. The core of Star Trek is its six television series: The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise...

    , the Presidio is the location of Starfleet Academy, while the Fort Baker
    Fort Baker
    Fort Baker is one of the components of California's Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The Fort, which borders the City of Sausalito in Marin County and is connected to San Francisco by the Golden Gate Bridge, served as an Army post until the mid-1990s, when the headquarters of the 91st Division...

     cantonment (opposite the Presidio) and the Marin Headlands are the grounds of Starfleet Command
    Starfleet Command
    Starfleet Command may refer to:*Starfleet Command, headquarters/command center of Starfleet in Star Trek.*Star Trek: Starfleet Command, a space battle simulation game set in the Star Trek universe....

    • In the final episode of Star Trek: Voyager
      Star Trek: Voyager
      Star Trek: Voyager is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe. Set in the 24th century from the year 2371 through 2378, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet vessel USS Voyager, which becomes stranded in the Delta Quadrant 70,000 light-years from Earth while...

      , Admiral Janeway points out to her present-day self that the is preserved and located on the grounds of the Presidio.
    • In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
      Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
      Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is a 1986 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. It is the fourth feature film based on the Star Trek science fiction television series and completes the story arc begun in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and continued in Star Trek III: The...

      , Kirk
      James T. Kirk
      James Tiberius "Jim" Kirk is a character in the Star Trek media franchise. Kirk was first played by William Shatner as the principal lead character in the original Star Trek series. Shatner voiced Kirk in the animated Star Trek series and appeared in the first seven Star Trek movies...

       and Spock
      Spock is a fictional character in the Star Trek media franchise. First portrayed by Leonard Nimoy in the original Star Trek series, Spock also appears in the animated Star Trek series, two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, seven of the Star Trek feature films, and numerous Star Trek...

       have a discussion while walking on the shore adjacent to Fort Point in present-day 1986.
  • The Presidio
    The Presidio (film)
    The Presidio is a 1988 American mystery film directed by Peter Hyams, starring Sean Connery and Mark Harmon. Hyams also photographed. The score was composed by Bruce Broughton.-Plot:...

    , a 1988 American action movie starring Mark Harmon
    Mark Harmon
    Mark Harmon is an American actor who has been starring in American television programs and films since the mid-1970s, after a career as a collegiate football player with the UCLA Bruins. Since 2003, Harmon has starred as Leroy Jethro Gibbs in the CBS series NCIS.-Early life:Harmon was born Thomas...

    , Sean Connery
    Sean Connery
    Sir Thomas Sean Connery , better known as Sean Connery, is a Scottish actor and producer who has won an Academy Award, two BAFTA Awards and three Golden Globes Sir Thomas Sean Connery (born 25 August 1930), better known as Sean Connery, is a Scottish actor and producer who has won an Academy...

    , and Meg Ryan
    Meg Ryan
    Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra , professionally known as Meg Ryan, is an American actress and producer. Raised in Bethel, Connecticut, Ryan began her acting career in 1981 in minor roles, before joining the cast of the CBS soap opera As the World Turns in 1982...

     is set in and around the military base.
  • As seen in the 2004 Metallica
    Metallica is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1981 when James Hetfield responded to an advertisement that drummer Lars Ulrich had posted in a local newspaper. The current line-up features long-time lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo ...

     movie, Some Kind of Monster
    Some Kind of Monster (film)
    Some Kind of Monster is a 2004 documentary film featuring the American heavy metal band Metallica. It shares its name with the song "Some Kind of Monster" from Metallica's 2003 album St. Anger....

    , the band members start recording their new album St. Anger
    St. Anger
    St. Anger is the eighth studio album by the American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released on June 5, 2003 through Elektra Records. It was the band's last album released through Elektra. The album marked the end of the longest timespan between studio albums from Metallica, with nearly six...

    at the Presidio in January 2001. In July James Hetfield
    James Hetfield
    James Alan Hetfield is the rhythm guitarist, co-founder, main songwriter, and lead vocalist for the American heavy metal band Metallica. Hetfield co-founded Metallica in October 1981 after answering a classified advertisement by drummer Lars Ulrich in the Los Angeles newspaper The Recycler,...

     leaves the band to attend rehab. After this incident they moved into another studio where Hetfield returned in December.
  • The Presidio appeared as Paradiso in the 2004 video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a 2004 open world action video game developed by British games developer Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It is the third 3D game in the Grand Theft Auto video game franchise, the fifth original console release and eighth game overall...

  • The 2005 television movie Murder at the Presidio is loosely based on actual events.
  • The Presidio was featured in the Sci-fi Channel
    Syfy , formerly known as the Sci-Fi Channel and SCI FI, is an American cable television channel featuring science fiction, supernatural, fantasy, reality, paranormal, wrestling, and horror programming. Launched on September 24, 1992, it is part of the entertainment conglomerate NBCUniversal, a...

     reality show, Ghost Hunters
    Ghost Hunters
    Ghost Hunters is an American paranormal reality television series that premiered on October 6, 2004, on Syfy . The program features paranormal investigators Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson who investigate places that are reported to be haunted. The two originally worked as plumbers for Roto-Rooter as...

    , on October 3, 2007 in the episode entitled "Spirits of San Francisco."
  • The Presidio was featured as a racing track in the 1999-2000 video game San Francisco Rush 2049
    San Francisco Rush 2049
    San Francisco Rush 2049 is a racing video game developed by Atari Games and published by Midway Games for the Arcade, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color, and Dreamcast. It was released on September 7, 2000 in North America, and November 17, 2000 in Europe....

  • In the Popular Disney Channel
    Disney Channel
    Disney Channel is an American basic cable and satellite television network, owned by the Disney-ABC Television Group division of The Walt Disney Company. It is under the direction of Disney-ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney. The channel's headquarters is located on West Alameda Ave. in...

    show A.N.T. Farm
    A.N.T. Farm
    A.N.T. Farm is a Disney Channel television sitcom that premiered on May 6, 2011 as a special preview and continued as a regular series on June 17, 2011. The pilot episode, "TransplANTed" aired after the series finale of The Suite Life on Deck...

    , it is mentioned that the students will be taking a field trip to the Presidio.

See also

  • 49-Mile Scenic Drive
    49-Mile Scenic Drive
    The 49-Mile Scenic Drive in San Francisco highlights many of the city's major attractions and historic structures.Opened on September 14, 1938 as a promotion for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition, it...

  • Military Districts in Spanish California
  • The Bay School of San Francisco
    The Bay School of San Francisco
    The Bay School of San Francisco is an independent, coeducational, college preparatory high school that opened in 2004. The school moved into its current location in the Presidio of San Francisco in 2005...

  • Sinforosa Amador
    Sinforosa Amador
    Sinforosa Amador Noriega was born at the Real Presidio de San Francisco on July 18, 1788 and was baptized at "Misión de Nuestro Seráfico Padre San Francisco", later known as Mission Dolores....

     (1788–1841) - Born, baptized and married at the Presidio.
  • Rancho San Ramon (Amador)
    Rancho San Ramon (Amador)
    Rancho San Ramon was a Mexican land grant in present day Contra Costa County, California given in 1834 by Governor Jose Figueroa to Jose Maria Amador....

  • Presidio mutiny
    Presidio mutiny
    The Presidio mutiny was a sit-down protest carried out by 27 prisoners at the Presidio stockade in San Francisco, California on October 14, 1968. The stiff sentences given out at courts martial for the participants attracted attention to the extent of sentiment against the Vietnam War in the armed...

External links

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