Saturday, February 28, 2009


Another Glassy White Intrusion into a National Park and a National Historic Landmark District

This is the rendering that the Fisher people leaked to the Chronicle. Can you believe the Trust's lack of sensitivity to the historic site? Law requires that any construction permitted in a National Historic Landmark be "compatible" with the structures on the site. This is compatible? Trust documents imply that the National Park Service approved this contemporary museum. That is not true. The Park Service participated in a workshop to identify characteristics of a design that might be acceptable from an historic preservation point of view. This building is not what the NPS described.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Revised Main Post Plan Is Released

OH, NO! NOT ANOTHER 300 PAGES! The supplement to the supplement to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement was released today (February 27). Is this fun or what?

We have quickly scanned the version posted on the Trust website and have issued a press release available at

In summary, the revision is mostly the same sour wine in new bottles. The Fisher art museum now is partly underground, but still at the objectionable location at the head of the parade ground near the El Presidio, the 1776 birthplace of San Francisco. Oh, yes, that's part of it. The other part is placed across Moraga Street in the area of the old Library and the Child Care Center.

Our main objection echoes over 1,000 of the public comments: a contemporary art museum just does not belong in a national historic landmark or in a national park. The Presidio is both. The final call is based on total intrusion into the historical landmark of changes past. present, and future. When Lucasfilm, the Disney Museum's expected 400,000 visitors a year, the art museum and its 300,000 visitors a year, an 85,000 square foot hotel, "greening" the Main Parade and a hokey walk through time next to the hotel, a multiscreen movie house, Doyle Drive, parking meters, on street parking where there never was any, stop lights soon? etc., are added up to judge if these all together wil impair visitors' ability to experience the history of the Presidio, there can be only one conclusion: all that construction will bury the historical character of the most important historic site on the West Coast forever. With your help, that will not happen.

And where is the Park Service? It bravely objected last April for historic preservation reasons. It has yet to rule out this project for the reasons laid out in the laws that govern ALL national parks. I bet that it will though, when the time comes. That time may be in court.

Stay tuned. No one has read the whole document yet.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New Proposals for Alien Art Museum on Presidio to Be Announced in Late February

Just when we thought that we had gotten rid of pigs wearing lipstick, the Presidio Trust and Donald Fisher will soon introduce another scheme for a contemporary art museum and a big hotel in the center of the Presidio National Historic Site and National Park. Think of a contemporary art museum in Valley Forge. Think of Fisher's modern museum in San Francisco's Alamo Square or its being side-by-side with Mission Dolores. Unbelievable, but that is the mentality that once again wants to build the art museum in the Presidio.

There are National Park rules that are based in law that rule against building "cultural facilities" in National Parks unless the facility is directly related to the resources and values of the park. Somehow to me, a 1776 Spanish Presidio and 230 years as the Presidio's being central to America's growing presence on the Pacific do not have any relationship to contemporary art. The Park Service has not said that it will permit this museum that is so alien to any national park to be built.

The Trust officials and Mr. Fisher never have made the case why this art museum belongs on the Presidio other than Fisher's saying that is where he wants it.

Mr. Fisher, listen to the over 1,000 letters that say we the people do NOT want it there.

Please write, e-mail or phone Nancy Pelosi and the Trust to let them know how you feel. Why does a contemporary art museum belong in the Presidio close to the birthplace of San Francisco, when such an art museum would be permitted anywhere in a national park?