Saturday, April 25, 2009

I Sense the Tide Has Turned

On April 7, the Trust Board held a public meeting. A revised - but the same- plan for the art museum was presented with a lot of spin. The first hour of comments was dominated by well dressed people we had never seen at a previous meeting. I am told that they arrived by bus and were headed to a cocktail party. Hmmm? Then a Cal law school class gave its comments. Very interesting and pointed criticism. The public was well prepared and thoughtful in opposing the "preferred alternative" of an art museum, hotel and movie house located near San Francisco's birthplace.

The knockout punch was delivered April 17 by the National Park Service in a formal report to the federal government's top historical preservation council. This report stated five times in no uncertain terms that the Trust proposals "threaten" the Presidio's national landmark status, which is the highest form of protection an historic site can have. The Trust is bound by law to protect that status. There is very little wiggle room in this report that requires the art museum to be moved to the edge of Crissy Field if it is to be located on Main Post. Stay tuned: will the Trust ignore the report at its peril, try to wiggle around it with halfway changes, or use the considerable political muscle of its board members and Don Fisher to put on the fix in Washington?

The Park Service Report is called a "section 213" report. To see it , go to and click on "Issues".


Anonymous said...

Is this part of your organization?

There isn't a whole lot on this website.

Anonymous said...

OK June 1st has passed. What happens now?

--James Hartman
Santa Rosa, CA