Wednesday, February 2, 2011

February 7 Trust Public Board Meeting- BE HEARD!

Come at 6:30 P.M., February 7, to the Golden Gate Club (near the Presidio National Cemetery) to join your voice with the many who will speak their minds to the governing board of the Presidio.

The awful mess in Egypt is inspiring. People who care, who have little individual power, have banded together to make history. In our small corner of the world at the Presidio, we will have a chance to make our voices heard. Recently, there have been many indications that the Trust will not listen. It will bull ahead with its misguided plans and public misinformation. The Trust Board, composed of unelected appointees who really report to no one, is poised to approve 70,000 square feet of new construction for a commercial hotel in the historic center of the Presidio. There also will be a modern addition to the historic Post Theater that is larger than the historic building itself. The public is told this construction is necessary to "restore the heart of the Presidio" or "enhance the visitor experience." The Main Post is "the heart of the Presidio." What visitors? Conference goers and golfers?

The Trust is throwing a bone to the public in the form of a promised "Heritage Center" to be located in one-third of the El Presidio headquarters, the former Officers Club. Is this real? There is no plan for what to do with those 13,000 square feet, no plan to fund a "Heritage Center" and no expertise on the Trust staff for museums or educational displays. Over 3,000 public comments over the past three years have asked for more history at the Presidio. There has not been a real visitors center for nearly ten years in this, a national park.

Only the passion of the public or the protection of the courts will thwart Trust plans that make no sense and have no understandable reason. Why would the Trust that is responsible in law for protecting the Presidio National Historic Landmark knowingly take actions that would damage the historic integrity of the Landmark? That's what the Park Service and its own reports say that it is planning to do. Demand answers that satisfy you. Be there.

1 comment:

Presidio Brat said...

Hey, I'll be at the meeting and looking forward to the discussion.

I'd be interested to hear more of your thoughts on the building of the hotel and the work they're planning for the old theater. Don't mean to sound odd, but specifically: why exactly do you oppose the ideas and what would be better, in your opinion?

I'm totally in favor of a historical center in the old Officer's Club and was disappointed that the current one, small though it was, shut down last week. I am hoping it will reopen after they do restoration on the building, but no one seems to know for sure...