Sunday, November 8, 2009

November Update

First, answering some questions we received since last month:


The old Army Museum was in the beautiful historic building on the corner of Funston and Lincoln, which was a Civil War era hospital. The Museum was closed by the Park Service because the Army took most of the collection when it left. The old building also did not meet the standards of the American for Disabilities Act. The mission of the Presidio Historical Association is to preserve (no more Fisher Museum) and educate (do all we can to get important, entertaining and educational displays on the Presidio so people understand America's presence there.) Under public pressure organized by the Association, the Trust now seems to be moving to help with history education... but no museum yet.

The Park Service has the responsibility for educating the public, but has little funding. When the Park Service pushed back against recent Trust development plans, it also renewed its interest in a real Visitors Center and in historic education programs. The outlook is much better for making the Presidio a park where people can learn America's history at the Golden Gate while they enjoy the Presidio.
But, the money is not there now to do what is needed for museums and visitor centers.


Whoa! It's not time to slack off. The Presidio Trust still is proposing a large hotel complex dead center in the old Presidio. It still wants to build an enlargement of the historic theater building that is larger than the historic structure itself. It wants to build a "public program facility," which they cannot explain, on the site of the Bowling Alley. These development ideas are irresponsible for the Trust to push. After all, the Trust is directed by Congress to preserve the national historic landmark. If the public- YOU - takes its eyes off the Presidio, the developers will win.

Okay for the questions, now more update:

Doyle Drive and Trees. Some of the tree removal has been part of a science based reforestation plan. Others by Doyle Drive have had to come down to make way for the temporary construction roads that are necessary for Doyle Drive construction that will begin this year.

What's Happening with Building Plans of the Trust? A major conference of the federal agencies and public groups that are official participants in the process will be held this month.We expect that the Trust will be directed to make additional modifications to its plans in order to protect historic integrity of the Presidio. The game is not over.

New Trust Board Member. John Reynolds, retired Deputy Director of the National Park Service, began serving on the Trust Board of Directors at a meeting September 17. He will speak directly for the Secretary of the Interior, an influence that has not existed before. He is dedicated to Park Service values and has many years of top level management. Three more appointees are waiting for White House confirmation. There will be some surprises, I bet. The question is if the Trust can get their building plans to a vote before the new directors are appointed. That's what the game looks like.

The Fight to Make the Presidio a Great Historic Park Is Not Over- Stay with us!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What will be the topics of discussion at the Board of Directors meeting Dec. 8th?

--James Hartman
Santa Rosa