Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Board of Supervisors Will Vote to Create a Committee to Monitor the Presidio

Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier has introduced a resolution to establish a watchdog coalition to focus on Presidio projects, including a contemporary art museum, a  large hotel, and a movie multiplex to be constructed on the National Park, which is also a National Historic Landmark. The resolution responds to residents' outcry against the Presidio Trust's development plans.

The Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on June 3 to create the Presidio Neighborhood Working Group for the people of San Francisco to monitor development of the national park, the Presidio of San Francisco.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Nation's Leading Voice for Historic Preservation Opposes Contemporary Art Museum and Hotel on the Presidio

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, which is the most prominent national organization for preserving the architectural heritage of America, has written a strong letter condemning construction of a contemporary art museum on the Presidio National Historic Landmark. The Presidio Trust that manages the Presidio has publicly supported this proposal and has selected a developer for building a 80,000 square foot hotel near the art museum and the 200 year old site of the Spanish Presidio in the center of the historic district. 

The NTHP stated in a letter to the Presidio Trust "This project would not conform to the Secretary's (of Interior) standards, and indeed, would be inconsistent with the Presidio Trust's own planning guidelines and analysis." 

The NTHP elsewhere in the letter makes this strong statement: "Taken together, the diminished historic integrity of the Main Post that would result from the proposed undertaking is profoundly disturbing. Given the Main Post's role as the historic heart of the Presidio, the degradation of its  historic integrity would be fundamentally contrary to the Presidio Trust's mandate, and must be avoided at all costs." 

The National Park Service and the National Trust for Historic Preservation now are on record along with the people of San Francisco to demand that the historic character of the Presidio be preserved. How can the developers on the board of the Presidio Trust be so deaf to the voice of the people and the authority of the nation's top historic preservation organizations that they plunge ahead with the reckless idea of a contemporary art museum and a hotel in the center of an historic national park?


Saturday, May 10, 2008

San Francisco Neighborhoods Unite to Save the Historic Presidio

A powerful coalition of 48 San Francisco neighborhood groups has united in opposition to the construction of the large Contemporary Art Museum at the Presidio. This is a break-through development that clearly and forcefully mirrors the opinions of  hundreds of letters received by the Presidio Trust that oppose any building that damages the historic character of the Main Parade Ground area of the Presidio.  

 The resolution of the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods "urges our elected officials to oppose any buildings or activities that compromise the historic significance of the Parade Ground either by their purpose and function, architecturally, by the size, color and design of the proposed new building(s), or by the level of activity that will be generated by the new use(s)." 

The Neighborhood Coalition also stated its concerns about the growing traffic and parking issues associated with any large new enterprise on the Presidio.