Thursday, December 2, 2010

December 8 Meeting of Presidio Trust Board is Crunch Time

At 6:30 p.m., December 8, the Presidio Trust Board of Directors will hold a business meeting at the Golden Gate Club (near the National Cemetery) with an opportunity for the public to speak. This is our LAST CHANCE to tell the Trust that they have no understandable excuse to knowingly harm the historic landmark that Congress told them to protect by building a commercial hotel in the center of the most sensitive historic heart of the Presidio. The commercial hotel chain that offered a proposal has disappeared. The Trust gives no economic reason for this damaging project. Competition from 33,000 hotel rooms in San Francisco makes building 100 more in an urban national park ridiculous.

The Board will formally approve the project shortly after this meeting unless YOU, the public, makes it clear that this turkey won't fly. We did it with the proposed modern art museum, and we can do it again on Wednesday night.

For details, go to the Presidio Historical Association website at For more, go the the Presidio Trust website - Major Projects - View the Documents. Find the latest Main Post Update dated November, 2010, and see pages 36 and 37 for their sanitized description of the "Lodge." An earlier analysis of the damage Trust plans will do to the historic integrity (that's what makes it a NATIONAL Landmark) is in a document titled "Finding of Effects," also on the Trust web site. It is written in National Historic Preservation Act language, but we all can see that even the Trust admits it is screwing up if it builds this hotel.

Why does the Trust Board persist in this scheme that started as an arts district based on the now-defunct "gift" of a mega art museum? Hubris perhaps? Top staff's careers invested in getting something out of this mess to save face? No, the Trust Board is made of very prominent and well intentioned people accustomed to the sort of power no one says "NO!" to. They aren't used to reexamining their assumptions or backing off under pressure. They don't question wayward staff judgments, and they have staff that does not challenge them. YOU, the public, have to make that challenge. Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., Golden Gate Club (next to the National Cemetery. Signs will be posted.) BE THERE!


As you can picture, there are too few of us in the trenches and Presidio issues have been flying fast and furious. My day Presidio volunteer job is eating up most of the time. (Don't ask). Presidio Pal has not responded to over 80 posts. In fact, I missed finding them until today. This cybergeezer has much to learn about blogging. Thanks for your patience and support. We are in the midst of redesigning our web/blog/social networking methods. Until then, stay tuned, but above all, keep up your wonderful presence in supporting the richly historic Presidio and Golden Gate National Park. Thanks, Presidio Pal

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